Chicago — Sal Ferrara today stepped away from Ferrara Candy Co., Inc. ending some two years of industry speculation about his future with private equity firm, Catterton Partners, the majority investor in the company. This will mark the first time in the namesake company's 106-year history that a member of the family has not been at the helm.
The one-time leader of Ferrara Pan Candy Co., Inc. moved on after a complicated relationship arising from the 2012 merger of Ferrara Pan with Catterton-owned Farley's & Sathers Candy Co., Inc.
Industry pundits suggested at the time that the hard-driving Ferrara was not expected to remain long at the new company, and it was widely rumored at the 2013 Sweets & Snacks Expo he had resigned.
However, insiders suggest Ferrara was persuaded to stay through at least the end of 2013 to provide continuity with the new conglomeration, focusing on his relationships with major retail accounts.
It is understood that the situation remained uncomfortable, especially as Ferrara's role was gradually diminished by management shake-ups and other senior appointments.
At the NCA State of the Industry Conference in Miami this past week, speculation was rife about where Ferrara would land, with some sources suggesting he did not have a non-compete agreement allowing him to continue within the industry without interruption.
Smart money is backing his re-appearance in charge of a major candy production facility build on the East Coast.