‘Outsider’ out at Schwan

Lenny Pippin, the president and chief executive officer at Marshall-based Schwan Food Company, is one of the few outsiders to run the company.

Until today.

The company says Pippin is leaving the company immediately, giving no reason for his departure. Greg Flack, head of the company’s Global Consumer Brands division, will serve as interim boss. Flack has been with the company for 21 years.

“While this has been a very challenging time, we have a tremendous company and our prospects are bright,” says board of directors chair Alfred Schwan in a statement.

In the last month the company has been consolidating operations. It closed a plant in South Carolina, which employed 525 people. In December it announced it was grounding the Red Baron Squadron, an airshow team that performed on behalf of the company’s Red Baron Pizza brand.

Pippin joined the company in 1999. Judging by the comments below, some are not sad to see him go.

Update Fri. 12:09 a.m. – The Marshall Independent has an interview with Pippin:

“One of the most important things to me is the well-being of employees,” Pippin said. “In an environment like this, one of the first places to cut costs is to cut people. I’m management and for me, that’s the last resort. With the rare exception over the past nine years, we’ve always seemed to find another way.”