OKLAHOMA CITY -- William Dowd, president and chief operating officer of Fleming Cos. here, has resigned, SN has learned.
The resignation was announced in a memo issued to Fleming employees a day after the wholesaler's annual meeting, which was held in Minneapolis. Dowd attended the annual meeting and nothing was mentioned during the meeting about his imminent departure. Indeed, no public announcement of his resignation has been made, and it's understood that none is to be forthcoming.
The news of Dowd's departure was first reported by SN's Web-based daily news service, Food Retailing News, May 21, the day after Fleming's internal memo was issued. For more on SN's Web site, see Page 2.
Dowd, 56, joined Fleming four years ago after a 24-year career on the vendor side of the food business. His resume included stints at Kraft General Foods, R.J. Reynolds and Campbell Soup. Immediately prior to joining Fleming he was senior vice president at Cott Corp., the Toronto-based beverage concern.
He was hired by former Fleming chief executive officer Robert E. Stauth, the executive who was dismissed by Fleming's board about a year ago.
Fleming's internal memo, which made known Dowd's resignation, quotes Mark S. Hansen, Fleming's current chairman and CEO, as specifying that "Fleming's management and board are deeply grateful to Bill for his many contributions, especially during a key time in developing the company's new strategic plan."
It further stipulates that Dowd resigned "to move back East and to pursue other personal and professional interests."
No further information about Dowd's plans could be learned last week, and it was understood that Dowd was no longer at Fleming's offices here.
Fleming officials said last week they couldn't estimate how long the search for a new president would take, although they verified that the search was under way.
Corporate officers who previously reported to Dowd will report to Hansen in the interim period, the memo said.