EATON — Henny Penny’s Chairman of the Board, Steve Cobb, recently announced he will retire as chairman at the end of 2019. Chairman responsibilities will transfer to CEO Rob Connelly.
Five years ago, Steve Cobb — then owner of Henny Penny — began fulfilling his succession plan. To secure Henny Penny’s future while maintaining its relationship-driven culture, he transitioned ownership of the company to an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan), transferred CEO responsibilities to Rob Connelly and served as Chairman of the Board for the next 5 years. After retiring as Chairman, Cobb will continue serving as a member of the Henny Penny board of directors.
The Cobb Legacy In 1975, Steve’s father, Jack Cobb, took an ownership role at Henny Penny and built a business and legacy based on trusted partnerships. Steve continued this business success and legacy, joining Henny Penny in 1988 and taking on roles ranging from sales to manufacturing before becoming President & CEO in 1997.
“Over the last 60 years, my family has been intimately involved in building Henny Penny into a global leader in the foodservice equipment business, starting with my father,” said Cobb. “I expanded on his vision as Henny Penny became the trusted partner of the world’s most well-known restaurants. As I planned my own succession, I wanted Henny Penny to continue thriving as a privately-held company headquartered in Eaton, Ohio. Forming an ESOP and turning HP employees into employee owners was an ideal solution. As I reflect on the last five years, I am thrilled with the impact that decision has had on the company, our employee owners, our business partners and the community.”
Steve’s dedication to the industry and community A respected industry leader, Cobb is a past officer and president of the North American Food Equipment Manufacturers (NAFEM) organization. He also dedicated time and resources to support the greater good in our communities including serving as the University of Dayton board chair, Preble County United Way campaign chair, YMCA of Greater Dayton board chair and Preble County Development Partnership campaign co-chair. Steve also spent hundreds of hours with community and school leaders over a four-year span to fundraise and develop the new Community Athletic, Wellness and Arts complex for the Eaton City School District.
“Steve has deeply touched the lives of many people at Henny Penny, in our industry and in our community,” said Connelly, Henny Penny President & CEO.
“Under Steve’s leadership, Henny Penny became recognized for building the best equipment in the world — a relationship driven, people first company committed to solving the needs of our customers and improving the communities where we work, live and raise our families. We are unique. We know it. We feel it. And we will honor the Cobb legacy by continuing to be a thriving company that’s the BEST place to work and grow.”