Blender manufacturer appoints first non-family CEO in 100-year history
Vitamix’s new CEO is the first executive outside of the founding family to lead the 100-year-old manufacturer of high-quality blending equipment. Steve Laserson, who was named incoming CEO of the family-owned company in February, has now taken over at the business and brings more than 25 years of cross-functional leadership experience to the role.Throughout his career, most recently as Vitamix’s first chief commercial officer, he has driven profitable growth and boosted market leadership with an approach that embraces creativity, innovation and inclusive collaboration.He said: “It is an honour for me to build upon the legacy the Barnard family has created and to help usher this organisation into its second century. I am deeply inspired by the Vitamix family of employees and all they do to deliver the very best experience and products for our household and commercial customers around the world.“I’m looking forward to expanding the growth of our brand and to building upon our continued commitment to innovation in whole food blending solutions.”As chief commercial officer, Laserson oversaw marketing, brand, sales, product management and engineering during a period of tremendous growth for the company.He was previously senior vice president of sales at the Cleveland-based American Greetings, where over a 24-year tenure he held key commercial leadership positions in sales and marketing strategy.John Barnard, executive chairman of the Vitamix board of directors, said: “The history of Vitamix is a special one. The foundation and focus with which my family has built the company has led to pioneering innovation in whole food health. We are committed to creating the best blending solutions on the market and making whole food eating accessible to more people. The board and I welcome the passion, expertise and commitment to the Vitamix brand that Steve brings with him as he steps into this role.”Laserson replaces outgoing CEO Jodi Berg, the great-granddaughter of company founder William ‘Papa’ Barnard.Berg announced her retirement in February, more than a decade after she became CEO in 2011.Vitamix’s commercial blenders are distributed through Jestic in the UK.