Cheese, appetizer and ingredients processorSargento Foods Inc., Plymouth, Wis., said it promotedLouie Gentineto president and chief customer officer.

Chairman & CEO Lou Gentine said the move reflects the planned retirement of Bob Clouston, current president and chief customer officer; as well as the leadership demonstrated by Louie Gentine in the family–owned company.

“Bob has made many significant and lasting contributions to our success since he was hired in 2000, and we wish him the best in his retirement,” commented Lou Gentine. “With Bob’s transitional counsel and mentoring, Louie is well-prepared to build upon our recent successes.”

Sargento said Louie Gentine earned his bachelor’s of business administration in finance from the University of Notre Dame and his MBA from Loyola University.  After spending three years in commercial banking, Louie returned to Sargento and has since had many cross-functional training and leadership experiences in marketing, production, procurement and most recently as president of the Consumer Products Division.

In his new role, officials said Louie will have responsibility for the company’s four sales divisions, new product development, and corporate-wide customer and consumer research.

In related news, Sargento said it hired former Kraft Foods executiveMichael Pellegrinoas president of Sargento's Consumer Products Division.

Sargento said Pellegrino brings extensive strategic planning, consumer products marketing and sales experience to Sargento from Kraft Foods, where he most recently served as senior vice president of global strategic planning.  He has also served as general manager and senior vice president of Kraft Pizza Company and vice president of marketing & strategy of Kraft’s Cheese Division. 

Pellegrino He earned both his bachelor’s of science in business administration and his MBA in marketing from the University of Wisconsin at LaCrosse.

Sargento is a family–owned, manufacturer and marketer of natural shredded, sliced and snack cheeses, appetizers, cheese ingredients, sauces and meal solutions servicing the retail, deli, foodservice and industrial segments of the food industry.