Henny Penny has expanded its executive leadership team, appointing Suresh Iyer as chief technology officer (CTO) and Laurie Neff as chief customer experience officer (CXO).
The duo’s appointments come during a period of continued growth for the employee-owned company, which celebrated its 65th year in business in 2022.
In the past year, Henny Penny has welcomed a chief people officer, announced a satellite office location in downtown Dayton, and grown its workforce by nearly 20%.
This substantial growth has accelerated the company’s imperative to transform its operations and products through digital technology to create better experiences for its employee-owners and customers.
“As we’ve grown, we’ve continued to intentionally invest in our employee-owners, equipment, and facilities,” said Rob Connelly, chairman and CEO of Henny Penny. “Setting out to transform from a traditionally manufacturing-focused business into a digitally-driven company is exciting. We also recognize that the journey won’t be without challenges, which is why the CTO and CXO roles are so important.
“Suresh and Laurie have extensive experience at digital-centric companies, and I know they will be instrumental in guiding our teams toward a future that impacts our employee-owners, customers, and community in positive ways.”
Iyer will lead the company’s digital and connected device strategy in the CTO role. He will strengthen the organization’s use of technology to elevate the customer experience through advanced, connected device solutions and transform the environment in which Henny Penny equipment is built and employee-owners work.
Iyer brings over 25 years of experience in automation, predictive analytics, global sales and operations, and digital transformation with companies like GE and Genpact.
He previously served as chief growth and digital transformation officer at Centum Electronics. Before that, he was global head of sales – manufacturing at Genpact, Inc.
He said: “Henny Penny is uniquely positioned to provide smart and sustainable hot foodservice equipment solutions for its customers leveraging data and digital, and I am proud to be part of this transformation.
“I look forward to being part of this successful, employee-owned company on the heels of its 65th anniversary. I’m even more thankful for the opportunity to develop a technology strategy that transforms the company’s core capabilities, improves its performance, and accelerates its growth toward a bright future.”
As CXO, Neff will develop and implement innovative strategies and programs that address immediate customer needs with a long-term view.
A key focus and priority will be integrating and leveraging the company’s sales, marketing, and service organizations through technology and data to elevate the internal experiences of those teams and the external experiences of our customers.
Neff said: “Henny Penny not only has incredible customers in markets across the world, but our internal teams have developed strong customer partnerships based on a commitment and care for supporting their success.
“Shaping our customer interactions through technology will allow us to keep pace with their evolving needs and meet technological demands. I look forward to evolving our customer’s experience through an integrated perspective and solution-driven technologies across global markets.”
Neff joins Henny Penny with more than 20 years of experience across the customer experience spectrum in the food industry.
She previously served as vice president of sales at Griffith Foods, a global billion-dollar company, where she managed customers across multiple channels, including retail, protein processors, global QSR, foodservice and snacks.
Before that role, Neff held positions of increasing scope and responsibility at global consumer packaged goods companies, including Campbell’s Foods and H.J. Heinz.