Meet our leaders
President and Chief Executive Officer
Sean M. Connolly joined ConAgra Foods in April 2015 as president and chief executive officer. ConAgra Foods is one of North America's largest packaged food companies with consumer and private brands found in 99 percent of America's homes. ConAgra Foods is also the largest private brand packaged food business in North America and has a strong commercial business, providing food to well-known restaurants, foodservice operators and commercial customers.
Prior to joining ConAgra Foods, Sean was president and CEO of The Hillshire Brands Company from the time of its formation as an independent company in 2012 to its sale to Tyson Foods in August 2014. Prior to his Hillshire Brands leadership, Connolly was CEO for Sara Lee North American Retail and Foodservice, as well as president, Campbell Soup North America. He also managed numerous brands in the food and beverage division at Procter & Gamble. Sean has used his general management, marketing, and innovation skills to improve business performance across a diverse range of food and beverage categories and channels of trade, with a focus on innovation and disciplined execution. Sean earned his bachelor's degree in economics from Vanderbilt University, and his Master of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin.
Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary
Colleen Batcheler was named executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary for ConAgra Foods in 2009. In this role, Colleen oversees all legal activity for the company. Colleen joined ConAgra Foods in June 2006 as vice president and chief securities counsel and, in September 2006, added corporate secretary responsibilities. She was then promoted to senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary in 2008.
Prior to ConAgra Foods, Colleen was vice president and corporate secretary at Albertson's, Inc., associate counsel with The Cleveland Clinic Foundation and an associate with the law firm of Jones Day®. Her practice has focused on securities regulation, corporate governance issues, executive compensation matters, mergers and acquisitions, and other general corporate matters.
Colleen serves as a member of the board of trustees of Case Western Reserve University, and on the board of trustees of The Omaha Theater Company for Young People. She earned a B.A., magna cum laude, in political science from the State University of New York College at Fredonia, and her J.D. from Case Western Reserve University, where she graduated Order of the Coif and served as executive notes editor of the Law Review.
Derek De La Mater
Executive Vice President and President of Sales
Derek De La Mater was named Executive Vice President and President of Sales in 2014, after serving as president of Customer Development. In this role, he leads the retail sales teams, which include the sales of both branded and private branded food.
Derek and his sales teams are dedicated to understanding the needs and exceeding the expectations of our customers, as well as those of the consumers who purchase our brands. Derek joined ConAgra Foods in 1993 and has held a variety of customer-facing, sales operations and business development roles. He graduated from State University of New York with a Bachelor of Science in business administration.
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
John Gehring was named executive vice president and chief financial officer of ConAgra Foods in 2009. As CFO, John oversees the company's finances in entirety. John was senior vice president and controller at ConAgra Foods from 2004 to 2009, with responsibility for accounting, reporting, planning and analysis, financial systems management, and financial shared services operations. He also had financial oversight for the company's Commercial Foods business.
Prior to his controller role, John was senior vice president and interim senior financial officer for ConAgra Foods Retail Products and senior vice president, Internal Audit. Before joining ConAgra Foods, John was a partner with Ernst & Young, serving as the Ohio Valley area business risk services leader. He also held auditing positions with PepsiCo and KPMG Peat Marwick. John earned his bachelor's degree in business administration from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.
Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer
Jon Harris joined ConAgra Foods in August 2015 as senior vice president and chief communications officer. He is responsible for the strategic development, direction and implementation of corporate communication and reputation management programs across the organization. Jon also oversees the ConAgra Foods Foundation as well as corporate giving efforts.
Jon is the former chief communications officer and senior vice president at Hillshire Brands where he oversaw all aspects of integrated communications. He had previously served as senior vice president, global communications for Sara Lee Corporation, where he was responsible for leading worldwide business and marketing communications for the company's core food and beverage brands and oversaw the spin-off of the company into two pure-play, publicly-held entities. Prior to Sara Lee, Jon held leadership positions at Bally Total Fitness Corporation, PepsiCo, Ketchum Public Relations and Medicus Public Relations. Jon holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Rutgers University and is an adjunct professor for PR & Marketing at the University of Chicago's Graham School.
President, Consumer Foods
Tom McGough was named president of ConAgra Foods' Consumer Foods business in 2013. Consumer Foods makes and sells leading branded food to retail and foodservice channels. Consumers can find recognized brands such as Banquet®, Chef Boyardee®, Egg Beaters®, Healthy Choice®, Hebrew National®, Hunt's®, Marie Callender's®, Orville Redenbacher's®, PAM®, Peter Pan®, Reddi-wip®, Slim Jim®, Snack Pack® and many others.
As a 20-year veteran of the branded food business, Tom began his packaged foods career at H.J. Heinz in 1990. He joined ConAgra Foods in 2007 and was named president, Grocery Products, ConAgra Foods in 2011. Grocery Products is Consumer Foods' largest area of business, including many leading shelf-stable and refrigerated brands. He holds an M.B.A. from Duke University's Fuqua School of Business and a bachelor's degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer
Andrew Ross was named executive vice president and chief strategy officer for ConAgra Foods in 2011. In his role, Andrew leads the company's strategic planning process, with specific responsibility for developing strategies that align with the company's growth ambitions.
Andrew has 20-plus years of experience in developing growth strategies for businesses around the world. Prior to joining ConAgra Foods, he was a partner at McKinsey & Company, Inc., where he led the firm's global consumer, retail and marketing practices. Prior to that, he worked for William Grant & Sons, Ltd. in Glasgow, Scotland, and McKinsey & Company in London.
A native of Scotland, Andrew earned his Master of Management degree from Northwestern University's Kellogg Graduate School of Management and his Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Edinburgh.
Chief Growth Officer
Darren Serrao became ConAgra Foods' chief growth officer in August 2015. As head of the Growth Center of Excellence, Darren leads efforts to bring together insights, innovation, research and development and marketing teams to improve connectivity and boost speed-to-market; ensuring strong insights lead to relevant and timely products with the right marketing support.
Darren was most recently senior vice president, chief marketing and commercial officer at Campbell Soup where he led the U.S. consumer business, Campbell's largest line of business. Previously, he was vice president of innovation and business development for Campbell North America where he accelerated the business's growth from innovation and acquisition. Darren also held several P&L and marketing positions during his career, including roles with PepsiCo and Unilever. He earned his bachelor's degree from Carleton University.
President, Commercial Foods
Tom Werner was named President of Commercial Foods in 2015. The Commercial Foods segment makes and sells a variety of specialty food and ingredients to major national and international restaurant chains, foodservice distributors and other food makers across the world.
He originally joined ConAgra Foods in 1999 and has been in roles of increasing responsibility throughout his career across all three of ConAgra Foods' operating segments—Commercial Foods, Consumer Foods and Private Brands.
He earned a Master's of Business Administration from Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with an accounting emphasis from Saint Mary of the Plains College in Dodge City, Kansas.