Ralph Stayer Announces Nick Meriggioli as New Johnsonville Sausage CEO
Stayer to continue providing company leadership as Chairman of the Board
Johnsonville Sausage announced the retirement of Chief Executive Officer Ralph C. Stayer, effective April 1. Nick Meriggioli will succeed Stayer, who has led the company since 1968. Stayer will continue providing company leadership as Chairman of the Board.
Johnsonville started as a small butcher shop in 1945. Under Stayer’s leadership, the company has grown to become the No. 1 national brand of sausage, available in all 50 states and 40 countries.
Much of the company’s success has been attributed to Stayer’s unique leadership style, which empowers members to take ownership of Johnsonville’s business results. Stayer shared his management philosophy in the bestselling leadership book Flight of the Buffalo. He also authored the influential article 'How I Learned to Let My Workers Lead' for the Harvard Business Review.
“Over the last 70 years, we have worked hard to build a distinctive culture and make exceptional products for our customers,” said Ralph Stayer, owner and current CEO of Johnsonville Sausage. “I am pleased to welcome Nick and confident that his track record of building and empowering people is the perfect fit for the company and our members.”
Meriggioli spent more than 20 years working at Kraft Foods in increasingly senior marketing positions. For the last 10 years, he led the Oscar Mayer business. Meriggioli holds an MBA in marketing and finance from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.
“During my time at Oscar Mayer, I have admired Ralph Stayer and the success of the Johnsonville business,” said Nick Meriggioli. “I am humbled and grateful for the opportunity to lead this great company and look forward to continuing their impressive growth and business performance.”
William Morgan will continue to serve as president.
“I am pleased to welcome Nick and confident that his track record of building and empowering people is the perfect fit for the company and our members.”
Wisconsin-based Johnsonville Sausage is the No. 1 national sausage brand, featuring: brats, Italian sausage, smoked-cooked links, breakfast sausage, Grillers and meatballs. Johnsonville products are served in 125 professional, college and semi-pro sports stadiums throughout the U.S.
Johnsonville employs approximately 1,600 members. Founded in 1945 by the late Ralph F. and Alice Stayer, the privately held company remains family owned today, providing various sausage products in 40 countries. For additional information, visit www.johnsonville.com.