BPI Sports, the fastest growing sports nutrition company worldwide, has added Walt Freese, a proven consumer products executive, with 35 years of brand building experience, as its new president and chief executive officer. As the former CEO of Stonyfield Farms, Ben & Jerry's and Celestial Seasonings, Mr. Freese has accumulated a long track record of building iconic brands while delivering exceptional growth in revenue and earnings. He successfully transformed Ben & Jerry's from a $240 million business into an international juggernaut with over $500 million of revenue through the disciplined execution of strategic initiatives, product innovation, transformative marketing strategies and operational improvements that characterize world-class organizations.
“I am absolutely thrilled to be a part of such a dynamic company. BPI’s passion for fitness and nutrition permeates the organization from its enthusiastic team, to its high quality, industry leading product portfolio,” said Walt Freese. “It has all the ingredients necessary to become the premier brand in sports nutrition in the U.S. and globally. I look forward to building on the company’s already strong foundation and cutting edge products like 1MR Vortex™, Whey HD™ and Funnbar™. Our goal is to establish BPI as an iconic, global, multi-channel business with unparalleled innovation, that not only includes superior product options for the existing sports nutrition consumer, but also new products that reach historically underserved consumers, distribution channels and markets.”
"We are proud to have Walt join our team. His success building iconic brands has been complemented by a strong focus on operational excellence in marketing, sales, supply chain and all support functions, driving a more efficient and effective organization. Walt will play a huge role in BPI's worldwide expansion in the years to come,” said James Grage, executive vice president and cofounder. “His ability to help define and build brands like Ben & Jerry’s will make BPI Sports an even bigger player in today's growing fitness market."
Mr. Freese has had great success building both domestic and global businesses. He has experience in public and private companies, as well as private equity. Moreover, with an energizing and transparent leadership style, Walt builds strong teams and high-engagement cultures that give each and every employee a stake in the company’s success. He takes great pride in creating an atmosphere where employees pull together to accomplish great things—and achieve levels some might have thought impossible.
"This is the perfect opportunity to align myself with a company with similar interests and goals," Mr. Freese added. "I have been a fitness enthusiast since age 12, starting with weight lifting and evolving in to playing football, wrestling and track, competing in triathlons, challenging myself with rock and ice climbing and continuing a rigorous workout schedule six days a week. I continue to work out regularly while incorporating BPI products into my regimen. As the CEO at Ben & Jerry's, I had a world-class gym built for the company, brought in personal trainers, nutritionists and massage therapists, leading the company to be named the 'Fittest Company' in the State of Vermont. This mentality and lifestyle is already instilled within the walls of BPI. The employees live what they preach by taking the products and using the company's state-of-the-art gym daily. It's a great atmosphere that I feel very fortunate to be a part of."