Brown & Haley has announced John Melin, chief operating officer and president, will become the company’s next CEO, succeeding Pierson Clair.
Effective March 1, Melin will be the fifth CEO in Brown & Haley’s 110-year history. Clair is stepping down after a 50-year career in the chocolate and confectionery industry.
Melin becomes CEO after joining Brown & Haley in 2003. He has served as COO and president since 2014. Melin has played a critical role in directing domestic and international sales, optimizing manufacturing capabilities and introducing new products, including ROCA Bites and ALMOND ROCA Popcorn.
“The last two years have presented challenges, but I can’t think of a more exciting time to lead Brown & Haley,” Melin said. “With recent product innovations and completion of major capital upgrades, we have the capacity to build our classic ROCA and ROCA Bites businesses, as well as expand industrial toffee. The future is very bright.”
Prior to joining Brown & Haley, Melin held operating and consulting roles at Starbucks, Coinstar and McKinsey & Company, where he served clients across the retail, media and natural resource industries. He holds Master of Science and Master of Arts degrees in economics from Oxford University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering from the University of Saskatchewan.
“We have absolute confidence in John’s ability to guide our business,” said Anne Haley, chairman of the board. “We are very excited about the company’s future with John as CEO, especially growing our new ROCA Bites product line.”
“We are enormously grateful to Pierson for his leadership,” Haley said. “He is a true professional who has carried the legacy of Harry Brown & J.C. Haley well.”
Clair began his confectionery career at Blommer Chocolate Company after graduating from Stanford University. His industry contributions have been recognized with numerous awards, including the Kettle Award, NCA Advocate of the Year Award, and induction into the Candy Hall of Fame. The hallmark of his career has been investing in personal relationships.
“I’ve always sought to work with people who are bright, ethical, engaged and loyal,” Clair said. “John is exactly this and the ideal person to lead Brown & Haley into the future.”
Brown & Haley, based in Tacoma, Washington, has been making ALMOND ROCA since 1923. The chocolate-almond buttercrunch toffee and signature pink tin are enjoyed throughout the United States and in more than 60 countries around the world.