Pet Specialty Leader Taps Current President to Help Accelerate Growth
AMARILLO, Texas and EVANSTON, Ill., October 11, 2018 – Merrick Pet Care, Inc., announced today that it has appointed accomplished marketing executive and current president Timothy (“Tim”) W. Simonds as Chief Executive Officer to lead the company through its next phase of growth.
Under the leadership of former CEO, Greg Shearson, Merrick grew from a niche brand in 2011 to become the #3 natural brand in the pet specialty retail channel today. Shearson, and his leadership team, helped Merrick become one of the fastest-growing businesses in the U.S. in recent years, and 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. After four years of significant 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,” said former CEO, Greg Shearson. “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 the Procter & Gamble Company.
“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.”
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 (PFI), the voice of the U.S. pet food and treat industry.
About Merrick Pet Care, Inc.
Founded in Hereford, Texas, in 1988, Merrick Pet Care, Inc. is a leader in natural and organic pet food. With a mission to make the most wholesome and nutritious food that pets deserve, Merrick goes to great lengths to craft recipes with real, whole foods and the freshest ingredients without additives, sweeteners, colors or preservatives. Dedicated to the pet specialty channel, the company offers a wide variety of high-quality dry and wet foods, as well as treats, for dogs and cats across its premium product portfolio, which includes the Castor & Pollux, Zuke’s and Whole Earth Farms brands alongside its signature Merrick brand. For more information, visit www.merrickpetcare.com.
 GFK, Pet Specialty Channel = PetSmart + Petco + Independent Pet Specialty, L52 Weeks ending July 2018.