Zillmer Rejoins Aramark As CEO; Board Adds 5 Independent Directors

Posted On: 10/8/2019

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John J. Zillmer

PHILADELPHIA -- Aramark reports that John J. Zillmer will return to the company as chief executive, effective immediately. He also will become a member of Aramark’s board of directors.

A respected business leader for more than three decades, Zillmer previously spent 18 years at Aramark. Under his leadership as president of Global Food & Support Services, Aramark experienced substantial growth, becoming the largest food management provider in North America. Following his previous tenure at Aramark, Zillmer served as chairman and chief executive of Allied Waste Industries where his transformation of Allied Waste became an industry benchmark. Zillmer also led Univar, a global chemical and ingredients distributor, as chief executive and executive chairman. In that post, he advanced corporate culture and drove substantial operational improvements.

Zillmer currently serves as non-executive chairman of CSX Corp., and on the boards of Veritiv Corp., Performance Food Group Co. and Ecolab, Inc. He was named to the National Association of Corporate Directors’ “Directorship 100” in 2016, in recognition of his outstanding contributions to corporate governance. Zillmer intends to retire from the Veritiv and PFG boards.

“I am extremely excited about the opportunity to rejoin Aramark at such a dynamic time in the company’s history,” Zillmer said. “I look forward to working closely with the board and the Aramark team to drive growth and value for our employees, customers, partners and shareholders.”

Five new independent directors will join the board. Susan Cameron, former chairman and chief executive of Reynolds American Inc.; Karen King, former executive vice-president and chief field officer of McDonald’s Corp.; and Art Winkleblack, former executive vice-president and chief financial officer of H.J. Heinz Co. will join immediately. The board will nominate Greg Creed, current chief executive of Yum! Brands, and recommend him for election at the company’s 2020 annual meeting.

In addition, Paul Hilal, founder and chief executive of Mantle Ridge LP, the company’s largest shareholder, will become vice-chairman. Aramark’s current non-executive chairman, Stephen Sadove, will remain as chairman of the board.

Four existing Aramark directors, Pierre-Olivier Beckers-Vieujant, Lisa Bisaccia, Patricia Morrison and John Quelch, have retired from the board, effective as of the appointment of the new directors. Aramark’s board will be comprised of 11 directors, following the election of Greg Creed at the company’s 2020 annual meeting. The office of the chairman has been dissolved.

Aramark, originally Automatic Retailers of America, was founded in 1959. It serves Fortune “500” companies, world champion sports teams, state-of-the-art healthcare providers, the world’s leading educational institutions, iconic destinations and cultural attractions, and municipalities in 19 countries around the world.