Aos Graduation Speaker
February 10, 2017
Chief Executive Officer: Newman’s Own
by Shelly Loveland, Staff Contributor
Michael McGrath is the chief executive officer (CEO) for Newman’s Own, Inc. In this position, he is responsible for managing the food and beverage company’s business in the United States and internationally, as well as leading new product development and market expansion. Mr. McGrath also serves as a member of the Newman’s Own, Inc. Board of Directors.
There are currently more than 300 items in the Newman’s Own product line of great-tasting, high-quality, and organic foods, including salad dressings, pasta sauces, frozen pizza, salsa, frozen skillet meals, refrigerated lemonades, cookies, snacks, and pet food. Each contributes to fulfilling the company’s “100% of Profits to Charity” commitment through the Newman’s Own Foundation.
In collaboration with 30-year Newman’s Own partner LiDestri Foods, Mr. McGrath recently introduced a new line of organic pasta sauces to consumers under the name Common Good. The two CEOs—Giovanni LiDestri and Mike McGrath—selected a specific tomato varietal in a taste test, LiDestri Foods commissioned a California farmer to grow it, and just one year after the idea was conceived, finished jars were arriving at grocery stores.
Mr. McGrath began his work with Newman’s Own as an outside consultant on business issues. He subsequently joined the Newman’s Own team in 2013, when he was hired to manage the intellectual properties and licenses for the food and beverage business. In 2014, Mr. McGrath was named CEO. His more than 35 years in the food and beverage business also includes a successful career in the consumer packaged food business, where he was president and CEO of Weight Watchers and, most recently, the founder and CEO of Wolfgang Puck Soups, which he sold to the Campbell Soup Company.
Michael McGrath was a personal friend of actor and Newman’s Own co-founder Paul Newman. He is a longtime supporter of charitable causes, most notably the SeriousFun Children’s Network, where he serves on the Advisory Board, and its member camps, such as Barretstown in Ireland (where he has served on the Board of Directors) and The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp in Ashford, CT.
Mr. McGrath earned a bachelor of science in business administration and accounting from Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, CT and a master’s in business administration from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA.