Southlake’s Chef Holdings Inc. Announces CEO Transition, Hire of Food Industry Veteran

Chef Holdings Inc. has set the stage for a transformative chapter as Terence "Terry" O'Brien takes the reins as CEO. With the exec's extensive food industry experience and turnaround success, he's expected to chart the path forward for CTI Foods and Liguria Foods.

Southlake-based Chef Holdings Inc. has appointed Terence “Terry” O’Brien to succeed Mike Buccheri as chief executive officer under a board-approved succession plan. The appointment was effective Wednesday.

Chef Holdings is the parent company of CTI Foods LLC and Liguria Foods LLC.

“My work for CTI has been an extraordinary experience,” Buccheri said in a statement. “I have been fortunate to benefit from so many incredible team members on our lines, in our plants, and leading our functions from here in Southlake. As I depart to pursue the next chapter of my career, I know that the CTI team is set up to continue to thrive under Terry’s leadership going forward.”

Buccheri was appointed CEO of Chef Holdings in May 2019 and since then, CTI has seen marked improvement across its portfolio of facilities and products.

The company is now seen as the premier product development partner for leading restaurants, co-manufacturing, and other B2B customers across the United States.

“Mike has been an asset and incredible leader for CTI’s turnaround, navigating COVID, and putting this company on the path to greater growth,” Board Chairman Jim Clough said in a statement. “We thank him for his service over the past four years and we wish him the best of luck in all of his future endeavors.”

A ‘difference maker’ in the food manufacturing industry

The company said that O’Brien brings nearly 40 years of food industry experience to Chef Holdings, including senior leadership roles at Dean Foods and Frito-Lay, and turnaround success as CEO at Brach’s Confections.

“We know Terry is going to be a difference maker,” Clough said. “Terry’s experience across the food manufacturing industry and extensive experience at the helm of similar companies are going to make a very positive immediate impact for CTI’s customers and team.”

Most recently, O’Brien led CP Foods North America, the leading North American frozen foods platform for co-manufacturing, private brands, and custom foodservice foods. As CEO, O’Brien doubled the revenue of the business and led its financial and operational turnaround.

“I couldn’t be more excited to join CTI Foods and its parent company,” O’Brien said in a statement. “I applaud the huge strides the company has made since 2019. I look forward to continuing to support CTI’s customer base as our primary focus and to supporting the continued growth of this industry-leading company.”

CTI is a culinary-driven company that offers a diverse range of custom food solutions to the foodservice, retail, industrial, and co-manufacturing channels, including raw, precooked, and fully-cooked protein, dry sausage, soups, sauces, and dehydrated beans.

It has six state-of-the-art food processing facilities and has over 1,500 employees across its Idaho, Iowa, California, Kentucky, and Texas locations.

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