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MIDDLEBY ANALYSIS: New executive line-up dissected following Bassoul departure

Blodgett

With The Middleby Corporation confirming that chairman, president and CEO Selim Bassoul is retiring from the business after 23 years, the foodservice equipment manufacturer will move forward under a new leadership team.

Catering Insight USA assesses what the new executive line-up looks like:

Timothy FitzGerald, CEO

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Mr FitzGerald has been instrumental in the development and execution of the company strategy since joining in 1998 and having served as CFO since 2003. He not only led the finance organization, but he has been involved in all areas of the company and worked closely with each of the management teams as they have joined Middleby through acquisitions.

A key architect of the Middleby business strategy, he has led the acquisition efforts and developed three industry-leading platforms through more than 70 brand acquisitions.

Mr FitzGerald initially joined Middlby as Vice President and Corporate Controller in 1998, sering in that position for five years. He has been heavily involved in all strategic and operating decisions during his tenure, and has been responsible for the Middleby acquisition and business development activities since joining the company.

Additionally, he has led the development and had oversight for the Middleby Worldwide international sales and distribution operations. More recently he developed the Middleby residential distribution platform supporting growth for Viking and all the residential brands.

Prior to Middleby, he held positions at Arthur Andersen in audit and consulting from 1991 through 1998, assisting clients in restructurings, business integrations, and mergers and acquisition activities.

David Brewer, Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer

Industry veteran David Brewer has been promoted to Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Middleby. During his 12 years at Middleby, Mr Brewer led growth initiatives of the Commercial Foodservice Group and was responsible for successfully launching the Middleby National Accounts team, which has been a critical differentiator in servicing the Middleby large key customers.

Mr Brewer also has been instrumental in developing and directing supply chain initiatives over the past several years.

A foodservice industry veteran, has spent more than two decades in the industry both as a customer and a supplier. He joined the company in 2007 as President of Middleby’s Pitco division. Prior to Middleby, he served as President and General Manager at Lantech Corporation.

Mr Brewer also held leadership positions at Yum! Brands Corporation and Chiquita Brands International. His experience at Yum! Brands has been instrumental to the success of Middleby’s customer initiatives and relationships with the major restaurant chains.

Bryan Mittelman, Chief Financial Officer

Middleby’s former Chief Accounting Officer has been promoted to CFO following Tim FitzGerald’s move to CEO. In his new role Mr. Mittelman will work closely with Martin Lindsay, corporate treasurer, also an officer of the company, who has 20 years of senior-level finance experience with the company.

Mr Mittelman has 27 years of finance experience and prior to Middleby, he spent five years as a Vice President and Controller of Knowles Corporation. He has also served as Corporate Controller at Morningstar, Inc. and in finance and accounting roles at Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics, Dade Behring and Arthur Andersen. He is a Certified Public Accountant.

Gordon O’Brien, Chairman of the Board

Mr O’Brien has served as Lead Independent Director of the Middleby Board since 2010, and hasnow taken over as Chairman of the Board following Selim Bassoul’s retirement.  Associated with Middleby since 2001, and a member of the Middleby Board of Directors since 2005, he has served as Lead Independent Director since 2010.

Mr O’Brien has been Managing Partner at Cannon Capital since 2017. Previously, from 2008 to 2017, he served as President of Specialty Finance and Operations of American Capital Strategies and from 1998 to 2008 was a Principal and Managing Director at the firm. Prior to that, he served as Vice President of Pennington Partners/PENMAN Partners.

Mr. O’Brien’s extensive experience with capital markets and acquisition strategy as well as his extensive experience as a director on numerous other boards are valuable in Board discussions regarding the company’s capital structure, liquidity needs and acquisition strategy.

Andrew Seymour

The author Andrew Seymour

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