Aramark, a $16 billion global leader in food, facilities management and uniforms, has announced that John J. Zillmer (pictured), a proven executive with a track record of driving market-leading business results, will return to the company as chief executive officer, effective immediately. He will also become a member of the company’s board of directors.
A respected business leader for over three decades, Zillmer previously spent 18 years at Aramark. Under his leadership as president of Global Food & Support Services, Aramark experienced significant growth, ultimately becoming the largest food management provider in North America.
Following his prior tenure at the company, Zillmer served as chairman and CEO of Allied Waste Industries. Zillmer also led Univar, a global chemical and ingredients distributor, as CEO and executive chairman.
“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 CEO of Reynolds American; Karen King, former executive vice president and CEO of McDonald’s Corporation; and Art Winkleblack, former executive vice president and chief financial officer of H.J. Heinz Company will join immediately, and Greg Creed, current CEO of Yum! Brands whom the board will nominate and recommend for election to the company’s board at the company’s 2020 annual meeting.
In addition, Paul Hilal, founder and CEO of Mantle Ridge, 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.
“John Zillmer is an outstanding leader with a proven record of accelerating business performance and fostering a strong corporate culture. We are thrilled he is returning to lead Aramark as chief executive officer,” Sadove said.