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Pet Care Firm Names CEO

He has 27+ years of experience in brand strategy and consumer marketing.

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AMARILLO, TX, and EVANSTON, IL – Merrick Pet Care Inc. announced that it has appointed Timothy W. Simonds, who currently serves as company president, to the role of CEO.

Under the leadership of former CEO Greg Shearson, Merrick grew from a niche brand in 2011 to become the No. 3 natural brand in the pet specialty retail channel, according to a press release. The company is expected to surpass $500 million in sales for 2018.

Shearson led the company through two key phases of growth. Together with private equity firm Swander Pace Capital, he “set out to build on the vision of the company’s founder, Garth Merrick, and make the most wholesome and nutritious food that pets deserve,” according to the release. After four years of growth, he sold the company to Nestlé Purina in 2015 and the stand-alone business unit “continues to outperform the pet food category.”

“There couldn’t be a better time for a collaborative and results-driven leader like Tim to bring new energy and focus to this business,” Shearson said. “The natural and organic pet care industry has become fiercely competitive in recent years, and Tim’s ability to inspire others and build advocacy for our brands will help continue to win the hearts and minds of the pet specialty shopper.”

Simonds brings more than 27 years of experience in brand strategy and consumer marketing. He started with Merrick in 2016 as vice president of marketing and was appointed president in March 2018. Prior to Merrick, Simonds was chief marketing and engagement officer at the Kellogg School of Management and held various senior leadership roles at GE and United Airlines. Simonds started his career in brand management and sales with Procter & Gamble Co.

“We have an incredible foundation, and a truly superior set of products, brands and customer partnerships in pet specialty,” said Simonds. “It’s an honor to have the opportunity to continue the growth agenda that Greg built.”

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Shearson will remain with Merrick in an advisory role to help assist Simonds with the transition. He’ll also continue to represent the company on the board of the Pet Food Institute, the voice of the U.S. pet food and treat industry.

Since launching in 2017, PETS+ has won 16 major international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact PETS+'s editors at editor@petsplusmag.com.

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