Bob Evans Farms Inc. said Wednesday that its chief financial officer Paul DeSantis has resigned, effective May 16, to accept a position at another company.

DeSantis had been the New Albany, Ohio-based company’s CFO since January 2011. The company’s vice president of corporate development and finance, T. Alan Ashworth, will serve as interim CFO and treasurer while Bob Evans Farms’ board of directors conducts a search for DeSantis’ replacement.

“We appreciate Paul’s dedication and service to Bob Evans for the past three years, and we wish him all the best in his future endeavors,” Steven Davis, the company’s chief executive, said in a statement. “Alan has held positions of increasing responsibility since joining the company in 2011, and I look forward to working with him in this role until a permanent replacement is appointed.”

On April 28, Bob Evans Farms announced a slate of new directors for its board, including the addition of Kevin Sheehan of Norwegian Cruise Line, Kathy Lane of TJX Companies and Larry McWilliams of Compass Marketing. The company said at that time that E. Gordon Gee would leave the board immediately and that directors Larry Corbin and Robert Lucas would not stand for re-election at Bob Evans Farms’ annual meeting and retire from the board.

Bob Evans Farms’ executives and board of directors have come under fire in the past eight months from activist investor Sandell Asset Management, which has called for the company to spin off its packaged-food manufacturing business and perform a large sale-leaseback transaction for all its owned real estate. Davis and other Bob Evans leaders thus far have given no indication the company would take up Sandell’s suggestions and change strategy.

Bob Evans Farms Inc. owns and operates 562 family-dining restaurants in 19 states.

Contact Mark Brandau at mark.brandau@penton.com.
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