SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Diamond Foods Inc. on Monday named food and beverage industry veteran Brian Driscoll as its president and chief executive officer, three months after ousting its top executives for their role in a payment scandal.
Driscoll, 53, takes over on Tuesday from interim CEO Rick Wolf, a company director who had filled in since the company placed then-CEO Michael Mendes and then-Chief Financial Officer Steven Neil on administrative leave on Feb. 8.
The reshuffling came after the San Francisco company's audit committee found that payments to walnut growers were booked in the wrong period. The payments — an estimated $20 million in 2010 and $60 million in 2011 — skewed the company's financial results for those two years.
Driscoll has held posts with Kraft Foods Inc., Nestle SA and Procter & Gamble Co., and most recently at privately held Hostess Brands, where he served as CEO from June 2010 until this March, two months after the company sought bankruptcy court protection.
Driscoll also will join the Diamond Foods board.
Shares of Diamond Foods, whose brands include Emerald Nuts and Pop Secret popcorn, have plummeted from an all-time high of $96.13 reached last September to a recent low of $20.01 because of the scandal.
On Monday, the shares fell 7 cents to $22.20 in extended-hours trading following the announcement. During the regular session, they jumped $1.09, or 5.2 percent, to end at $22.27.