Company taps seasoned senior Coca-Cola executive to lead next chapter of company growth
Hearthside Food Solutions, a leading food contract manufacturer, announces the appointment of Darlene Nicosia as its new Chief Executive Officer. She succeeds Chuck Metzger, who is leaving the post after nearly five years as part of a long-term succession plan.
Most recently, Ms. Nicosia served as President of Coca-Cola’s Canada & Northeast US Zone. She brings over three decades of food industry experience with roles at The Coca-Cola Company, Kraft, and PepsiCo. A seasoned supply chain and operations executive, she previously held leadership roles at The Coca-Cola Company that spanned 29 years and included running the Company’s global Commercial Product Supply organization and serving as its Chief Procurement Officer.
Hearthside is a portfolio company of private investment firm Charlesbank Capital Partners and Partners Group, a leading global private markets firm, acting on behalf of its clients.
Nicosia’s appointment comes at a crucial time in Hearthside’s growth. The company expanded during the Covid crisis and also added six additional bakeries in the past year. The demand for high-quality outsourced manufacturing has continued to grow, as have the exacting requirements of world-class brands. Hearthside believes that future growth belongs to firms that can form preferred partner relationships with leading brands, delivering superior performance and value.
“For me, it’s all about teams learning and growing together, achieving ever-greater levels of performance, deepening commitment to our customers and striving to be their preferred partner. With three decades at one of the world’s great consumer brands, I have seen what is possible when people, process, and purpose unite,” said Darlene Nicosia. “Hearthside’s organization and culture are poised for transformational performance and growth, and I look forward to leading the company on that valuable mission.”
Leading Hearthside will be a homecoming for Ms. Nicosia, who grew up in the Chicago area. She is a graduate of The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business and holds an MSM from Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business.
Charlesbank Managing Director John Flannery said, “We sought a senior executive with proven abilities to foster and deliver transformational change across an enterprise and are delighted to have found Darlene Nicosia to lead this organization. Her strong operational credentials, deep industry relationships and experience managing complex businesses in the food category will immediately benefit the business.”
Chris Russell, a Managing Director at Partners Group, said, “The Board is grateful to Chuck Metzger for his tremendous dedication and valuable contributions over the last several years. Under his leadership, Hearthside has made significant market and product accomplishments that will serve the company well in its next phase of growth.”
About Hearthside Food Solutions
Headquartered in Downers Grove, Illinois, Hearthside Food Solutions is a leading contract manufacturer and producer of baked foods, snacks, nutrition bars, frozen, refrigerated, and fresh sandwiches/entrees, and a full-service provider of food packaging services for many of the world’s premier brands. The company is also the industry’s largest private bakery. Hearthside’s production network includes 43 facilities, including four in Europe, with a workforce of 12,000. In 2018 Hearthside was acquired by Charlesbank Capital Partners and Partners Group. For more information on Hearthside Food Solutions, please visit www.hearthsidefoods.com.
About Charlesbank Capital Partners
Based in Boston and New York, Charlesbank Capital Partners is a middle-market private investment firm with more than $15 billion of capital raised since inception. Charlesbank focuses on management-led buyouts and growth capital financings, and also engages in opportunistic credit and technology investments. The firm seeks to build companies with sustainable competitive advantage and excellent prospects for growth. For more information, please visit www.charlesbank.com.
About Partners Group
Partners Group is a leading global private markets firm. Since 1996, the firm has invested USD 185 billion in private equity, private real estate, private debt, and private infrastructure on behalf of its clients globally. Partners Group seeks to generate strong returns through capitalizing on thematic growth trends and transforming attractive businesses and assets into market leaders. The firm is a committed, responsible investor and aims to create sustainable returns with lasting, positive impact for all its stakeholders. With USD 131 billion in assets under management as of 30 June 2022, Partners Group provides an innovative range of bespoke client solutions to institutional investors, sovereign wealth funds, family offices and private individuals globally. The firm employs more than 1,600 diverse professionals across 20 offices worldwide and has regional headquarters in Baar-Zug, Switzerland; Denver, USA; and Singapore. It has been listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange since 2006 (symbol: PGHN). For more information, please visit www.partnersgroup.com or follow us on LinkedIn or Twitter.