EMERYVILLE, CA — Clif Bar & Company announced May 8 that Sally Grimes has been named the company’s new chief executive officer, effective June 1. As CEO, Grimes will apply her 25-years of experience as a food industry leader to Clif’s purpose-driven “Five Aspiration” business model, focusing on sustaining People, Community, Planet, Brands and Business. With the appointment of Grimes, Clif Bar founder, owners and current co-CEOs Gary Erickson and Kit Crawford will remain on the company’s Board of Directors.
Grimes has deep expertise building global brands, businesses, and high performing teams. Most recently, she served as group president at Tyson Foods, where she was responsible for the $10 billion Prepared Foods business. In this role, she drove record growth and spearheaded the development of some of the company’s most successful and innovative initiatives.
“Growth has a broader meaning at Clif Bar. To us, it’s an opportunity to take care of people, be of service to our communities and help build a more equitable and sustainable food system,” Erickson said. “Sally’s passion for what makes Clif unique will benefit our company culture and her track record for innovative thinking will help take us to the next level. We are thrilled to have Sally leading us forward.”
Erickson founded Clif Bar nearly 30 years ago after having an epiphany on a 175-mile bike ride that he could make a better energy bar with nutritious, high quality ingredients. Today, Clif Bar has a wide offering of organic, plant-based energy foods including its flagship CLIF brand, Clif Kid and LUNA. It remains family and employee owned, and committed to sustaining its People, Community, Planet, Brands and Business for the long-term.
“Clif Bar’s role in business today has become much bigger than the bar,” Crawford said. “Sally is committed to our vision for leading with purpose and to the values that underpin everything we do. We could not be more excited for her to join us.”
“I am honored to join this extraordinary company at a time when people are looking to brands to lead by example, something Clif Bar has been doing for nearly 30 years,” Grimes said. “Clif is in a unique position to not only innovate, but also drive meaningful change in our food system. Their focus on the long game is inspiring and offers endless potential. I can’t wait to get started.”
Prior to joining Tyson Foods, Grimes held senior leadership positions at KRAFT Foods, Newell Rubbermaid and The Hillshire Brands Company. She has received many industry honors, including being named to Fortune’s “Most Powerful Women to Watch” and Fast Company’s “Top 100 Most Creative People in Business.” She received an MBA from University of Chicago Booth School of Business.