John Leahy, An Accomplished Leader Who Helped Grow KIND from Startup to Industry Leader, Announces Retirement
Seasoned Executive Mike Barkley Assumes President and COO Role and Will Partner with Founder & CEO Daniel Lubetzky to Grow KIND’s Health & Wellness Leadership
January 23, 2019 – KIND Healthy Snacks (KIND) today announces that Mike Barkley, a health and wellness veteran, will lead the company into the future as KIND sets its sights on innovation and category disruption. Barkley will replace KIND’s longtime President and Chief Operating Officer (COO), John Leahy, who will assume a strategic adviser role in retirement. Leahy, who joined the company in 2010, will leave behind a legacy of achievement, transparency and compassion.
As President and COO, Barkley – a food industry veteran who recently held leadership roles at Pinnacle Foods and Boulder Brands – will help grow KIND’s portfolio, purpose and potential. He’ll work alongside Founder and CEO Daniel Lubetzky, who created KIND 15 years ago.
“Daniel’s vision and passion coupled with John’s business acumen and work ethic drew me to KIND. Over the past few months, I’ve had the opportunity to work directly with John. During this transitional phase, I’ve experienced many of his signature qualities, including honesty, professionalism and an unwavering commitment to KIND. It’s no wonder he helped grow this company into what it is today,” said Barkley.
As operating partner to the entrepreneurial Lubetzky, Leahy has helped fuel the company’s growth. When he joined KIND, the company sold nine whole nut bars; employed 30 team members; and generated roughly $20MM in revenue. Today, KIND offers more than 70 different snacks; employs upwards of 700 full- and part-time team members; and millions of people enjoy KIND bars every day. From sales and operations to product development and human resources, the 42-year CPG veteran Leahy touched many aspects of the business, built a leadership team, cemented the company’s culture, and set KIND on a path to becoming a health and wellness leader domestically and globally.
“John had an illustrious career before KIND and took a chance on us when he came to our overcrowded office running in startup mode. We were lucky that he even looked our way,” reflects Lubetzky. “I owe a tremendous amount to John, not just for his mastery of the business and desire to service customers with excellence and long-term orientation, but also for his loyalty, mentorship, exemplary work ethic and values, and ability to have fun along the way. While I will miss our daily partnership, ours is a lifetime friendship that will endure.”
During his tenure, Leahy opened the club channel and launched key accounts in the mass class of trade. In the process, he helped expand KIND’s distribution from approximately 25,000 outlets to 250,000. Beyond his accomplishments, colleagues say they will remember Leahy’s commitment to excellence and steadfast moral compass.
When asked what he hopes the team will remember about him, Leahy says, “I hope they will say he was all in, all the time, for the KIND team members.”
About KIND Healthy Snacks
Since its founding in 2004, KIND has been on a mission to make the world a little kinder one snack and one act at a time. KIND was born out of its founder’s desire to create a snack that was healthy and tasty, wholesome and convenient. What began as a line of premium Fruit & Nut bars sparked the creation of an entirely new healthier snacking category. Today, KIND has a family of more than 70 snacks that offer solutions for a variety of different occasions.
Its recipes use nutrient-dense, premium ingredients like nuts, seeds, whole grains and fruit, which are recommended for a healthy diet. All snacks are gluten free, do not contain genetically engineered ingredients and are not sweetened with sugar alcohols or artificial sweeteners.
Since day one, kindness has been at the core of its business. KIND was founded with a social mission, called the KIND Movement, which celebrates and inspires kindness through acts big and small. Today, the Movement is brought to life through both the brand and The KIND Foundation. To learn more about KIND and to join our Movement, visit kindsnacks.com.