Johnsonville, the renowned American meat products company, recognized as one of the nation’s top sausage producers, has announced the appointment of Don Fussner, a former executive from Kraft Heinz, as its new CEO.
Presently serving as the company’s CFO and COO, Fussner is set to assume the role of CEO in January, succeeding the retiring CEO, Nick Meriggioli.
Fussner became part of the Johnsonville team in 2019, initially as the CFO, and in 2022, he expanded his role to include COO responsibilities. Prior to joining Johnsonville, he accumulated 24 years of experience at Kraft Food.
Situated in Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin, Johnsonville has its origins dating back to 1945, when the Stayer family founded a butchers’ shop. Remarkably, the same family oversees the company’s operations to this day.
Meriggioli assumed the position of CEO in 2015, succeeding owner Ralph Stayer, who had held the role for 47 years.
On his successor, Shelly Stayer, Johnsonville owner and chairperson, said,
“Don is a strategic and operational leader with proven success across the entire value chain. He is a strong coach and people-focused leader who will continue to prioritise Johnsonville’s unique culture.”
She commended Meriggioli for his contributions to the company and his exceptional leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“If our culture remained a priority, high member engagement and business growth would follow,” Stayer said. “Nick has modelled that and has been a strong advocate for our Johnsonville Way culture, and we are especially grateful for his leadership.”
Johnsonville, which has manufacturing facilities in the American Midwest, now sells its sausages in 45 countries.
It produces more than 70 different types of sausage products, including: brats, grillers, Italian sausage, smoked-cooked links and breakfast sausage.
The company, which employs around 2,000 people, has the facilities to process 3,400 pigs daily.