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Hostess Brands Names Turnaround Expert Gregory Rayburn CEO

Posted On: 3/13/2012

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Hostess Brands, Hostess bankruptcy, Gregory F. Rayburn, Hostess chief restructuring officer, Teamsters Hostess strike, pastry business, vending machine snacks, Twinkies,Ding Dongs

IRVING, TX -- Hostess Brands Inc. has named Gregory F. Rayburn chief executive. He replaces Brian Driscoll, who abruptly resigned from the troubled baked goods company on March 9.

Rayburn's installment into Hostess's top spot is less than two weeks after his appointment as the company's chief restructuring officer. He has had a long career in managing the turnarounds troubled businesses, most notably WorldCom, which in 2002 was the largest bankruptcy filing in U.S. history. | SEE STORY

The Irving, TX, maker of Twinkies and Ding Dongs filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January, nearly three years after its predecessor, Interstate Bakeries, emerged from its own bankruptcy proceedings.

Chief among Hostess's struggles is rising labor costs. A majority of the company's 19,000 employees are unionized and the Teamsters Union has threatened to strike if the judge in Hostess's Chapter 11 case allows the company to cut employees' wages and benefits.

Following news of Rayburn's appointment to chief executive, the Teamster Union issued a statement saying that his appointment was "unexpected," but it would continue to work with the company for a resolution.