Gorton’s CEO retiring after 29 years with the Gloucester-based seafood supplier

Published on
July 18, 2019

Gorton’s Seafood President and CEO Judson Reis will retire at the end of this year, after 29 years with the Gloucester, Massachusetts, U.S.A.-based seafood supplier. Effective 1 January, 2020, Kurt Hogan, currently vice president of sales at Gorton’s, will take over as president and CEO.

"Judson's storied career enabled him to develop a deep understanding of the factors that drive Gorton's business success," said Kurt Hogan, in a Gorton’s press release. "The combination of his work experience, leadership skills, and focus on surpassing consumer expectations makes him someone who's perspective and judgment will be missed."   

Over the last 10 years, Reis “has successfully guided the Gorton's business through a rapidly changing consumer environment, by transforming the company to be more agile and customer-focused,” Gorton’s said. 

“During his tenure as president and CEO, retail product ingredients have been dramatically simplified, health profiles have been improved, core products significantly upgraded, new innovations successfully added, and cross-functional teams have been established around customers. Gorton's has invested in operations, including major capital investments at the company's facilities as well as implementing changes to reduce costs and enhance Gorton's ability to support the category,” Gorton’s said.

One example of product innovation is Gorton’s rollout of its easy-bake Ocean to Oven line showcased this past spring. The “lightly prepared” cod items and two salmon entrees are vacuum-sealed in an oven-ready tray. Consumers peel off the film and place the tray of two IQF fillets in the oven.

In 2015, Gorton’s began completely revamping its frozen seafood apps and meals by simplifying its ingredients and introducing cleaner recipes. 

”Delicious, quality seafood isn't just about the seafood," said Mary Beth Gangloff, who led the simplification charge at Gorton’s, at the time. "This effort is about doing everything we can possibly do to ensure that nothing gets in the way of our real, authentic ingredients. Our goal is to ensure that the goodness of our seafood reaches our consumers in every single bite.”

Reis joined Gorton's in 1990 as an associate marketing manager. After holding several marketing positions, he was promoted to vice president of marketing in 2004 and was named president and CEO in 2009. He was also chairman of the board at the National Fisheries Institute and is founding chairman of the non-profit Seafood Nutrition Partnership.

Meanwhile, Hogan’s “leadership skills, along with a track record of strong business judgment and creativity over his 28-year tenure with Gorton's, makes him especially well-suited to lead the Gorton's business,” the supplier said.

Building off of Reis's success in guiding Gorton's to meet consumer needs and expectations, Hogan “will continue to evolve the business to delight the next generation of seafood lovers,” Gorton’s said. “He will support the mission to help people live healthier lives by eating more seafood and lead Gorton's to continue to deliver the highest quality and freshest tasting products that customers have come to trust from the brand.”

"Kurt's knowledge of the drivers of our business, expertise in sales management and customer relationships are especially valuable as we pursue the next phase of growth. At a time when our industry is experiencing dramatic change to satisfy the evolving needs of today's consumers, Kurt is the right person to lead the business forward,” Reis said.

Hogan joined Gorton's in 1991 as a field-based regional business manager. In 2010, he was named director of sales, with responsibility for sales leadership in the Northeast U.S., Canada, and for all sales administration. In February 2012, Hogan was promoted to vice president of sales.

Image courtesy of the Seafood Nutrition Partnership

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