ConAgra Foods chairman and CEO Bruce Rohde today launched a formal search for his own successor.

As part of the company's current strategic planning process, Rohde discussed succession planning with the ConAgra Foods Board of Directors and formally asked the Board to approve the formation of a search committee that will be headed by Steven F. Goldstone, director, and retired Chairman and CEO of RJR Nabisco.

"My goal here is to set the stage for purposeful succession planning. Because of a diligent Board and a dedicated team of people, the right things have happened over the past several years. The company has made significant progress and in my view is now well poised for a new and significant phase of execution and growth," said Rohde.

The 56-year-old Rohde has served as CEO of ConAgra Foods since September 1997 and Chairman since September 1998. In that timeframe he has transformed the company from an agriculturally based conglomerate into one of North America's largest packaged foods companies focused on retail, foodservice and ingredient customers. When he took over as CEO more than half of the company's sales were derived from commodity businesses; in 2004 earnings and dividends were record amounts, and more than 80% of the company's sales were derived from branded and value-added foods.

Source: Company Release