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On January 12, 2012, Gary Hirshberg announced he was stepping down as CEO but will stay on as chairman of Stonyfield. Walt Freese, former CEO of Ben & Jerry’s, was named to replace him. In making the announcement, Gary Hirshberg said, “The company is in great shape and the change leaves him time to focus on U.S. food and agriculture policy, especially food labeling.” Freese was chief marketing officer for Ben & Jerry’s before he became CEO. Before that, he served as president of Celestial Seasonings in Boulder, Colorado, and held senior management roles with Kraft General Foods and Nestle. Freese said, “This is what I want my life to be about…working for businesses that both can be strong and vibrant financial enterprises and contribute in a meaningful way to the world. This just seems to me to be the perfect fit.”