In 1962, he joined Best Foods (originally called CPC International), a food-producing company best known for Hellmann's mayonnaise, Thomas's English Muffins and Knorr soups. In 1988, he became President of Best Foods and joined its board of directors. From 1990 to 2000, he served as its chairman and CEO. During his tenure, it became the largest US-based food producer in the world. He helped with its merger with Unilever, when Unilever bought the company for $24.3 billion.
He sat on the board of directors of Cigna from 1991 to April 27, 2005, International Paper from November 1, 1994 to December 31, 2005, the Chevron Corporation from 1998 until May 30, 2012. He is a member of the Business Roundtable and a former board member of the Grocery Manufacturers Association.
He is married to his college sweetheart, Nancy, and they have three sons.
- Bloomberg BusinessWeek
- Harvard Business School
- Booth School of Business Distinguished Alumni Awards
- Constance L. Hays, Unilever Deal For Bestfoods Signals More Acquisitions, The New York Times, June 07, 2000
- Will Edwards, Bestfoods Accepts Unilever's Increased Bid, Los Angeles Times, June 07, 2000