SeaPak parent company kicks off CEO succession plan

Published on
October 3, 2019

Buffalo, New York, U.S.A.-headquartered company Rich Products, which owns seafood supplier SeaPak Shrimp & Seafood Company, has enacted a transition in its leadership team that will see long-time CEO Bill Gisel taking over as executive vice chair of Rich Holdings, Inc. – the holding company for all Rich family business enterprises. 

The change, set to take effect on 1 January, 2020, will also involve Rich Products President and Chief Operating Officer Richard Ferranti, who will be promoted to Gisel’s former post as CEO, leading Rich’s USD 4 billion (EUR 3.6 billion) global food business.

“No associate has greater individual influence over the success of our global business than the chief executive officer,” said Bob Rich, Jr., the current chairman of Rich Products. “For more than a decade, Bill Gisel has worked closely with Mindy Rich and me to chart the right course for the eventual succession of our company’s CEO. During that time, Richard Ferranti emerged as a trusted leader; one with tremendous energy and passion for our business, our customers and our associates.”

Ferranti, who was promoted in April 2018 to the position of company president, has worked with Gisel and the firm’s executive team to grow Rich’s global footprint, which spans six continents, operating in more than 100 countries and 40 manufacturing facilities around the world.  

“Richard and I have worked closely together since the start of our global expansion 30 years ago,” Gisel said in a press release, reflecting on his work with Ferranti. “Navigating the complex nature of a global business – especially in a diverse industry like food – is a formidable challenge. With his vast experience and exceptional leadership skills, Richard is the ideal candidate to assume this important role.” 

“As a global organization, one of Rich’s greatest differentiators is our customer-focused, Act Local, Be Global strategy. That means leveraging our global footprint to provide our customers with expert insight and guidance in the places we work every day,” Ferranti added. “With great momentum, we will continue to focus on those who fuel our business: our customers and our people. Bill has provided perhaps the greatest example of executive leadership at the highest level. I’m incredibly humbled and grateful to be named the next CEO of this extraordinary family-owned business.”

Rich Products will celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2020. The enterprise considers succession planning a key component to its evolution, according to Mindy Rich, the vice chair of Rich Products.

“Proactive succession planning is essential to the sustainability and growth of any organization,” Rich said. “At Rich’s, it’s even more critical, as it’s directly linked to our family mandate of achieving long-term success as a family-owned business. With this leadership team backed by a talented group of associates around the world, there’s no limit to what we can achieve together.”

For the remainder of 2019, Ferranti and Gisel have jointly designed and implemented a detailed transition plan, they confirmed. Once 1 January hits, Gisel will turn his focus toward corporate strategy, long-term growth, and organizational excellence for the broad-based Rich’s enterprise, which is comprised of food, logistics, sports, travel, dining, and theatre. 

“Our objective is to effect a seamless transition that reinforces our current momentum and strategic focus,” Gisel said.

SeaPak Shrimp & Seafood Company, a company under the Rich’s umbrella, was named to SeafoodSource’s recent “Top 25: Seafood Product Innovations” list, published last month. 

Photo courtesy of Rich Products 

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