Jan. 5 2021 08:36 AM

News Follows CFO Announcement as Food Company Continues to Expand, Adds Growth & Market Share in New Categories

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Chobani announced that veteran CNN and Bloomberg Television correspondent Cristina Alesci will serve as Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, starting today.

Alesci will report to Chobani President & COO Peter McGuinness in her new role, leading external and internal communications, government and community relations, social impact and philanthropy. Alesci will also join Chobani's Executive Leadership team.

"From our humble yogurt beginnings in upstate New York through our evolution and expansion into a modern food company, Chobani uses food as a force for good and helps drive positive change in communities across the country," said McGuinness. "It's important for our brand to authentically tell and share the stories that shape our values, beliefs and business. Cristina brings over a decade of storytelling for CNN and Bloomberg TV to Chobani, highlighting our continued growth and innovation while challenging businesses and society to think and act differently, always putting humanity first."

Chobani created the CCAO role for Alesci as Chobani ends 2020 with double-digit growth across its oat milk, creamers, functional wellness drinks and yogurt businesses in grocery outlets and online1.

Throughout the year, the company has successfully launched products in four new categories, adding an oat milk platform, plant based and dairy creamers, and oat-based functional probiotic drinks, while investing in communities and donating more than 7 million products to food banks coast-to-coast.

Chobani has also supported its workforce throughout the challenges of the global COVID-19 pandemic, providing special benefits to its essential workers like quarterly bonuses and daily childcare stipends, while keeping plants in New York and Idaho operating uninterrupted, 24/7. In October, Chobani announced a commitment to a starting wage of $15 an hour, more than double the federal minimum wage. This investment brings the average wage for Chobani's essential workers to $19 an hour.

Alesci joins Chobani from CNN, where she was a business and political correspondent since 2014. Known for her in-depth coverage of financial markets and government policies, Alesci has appeared regularly on Anderson Cooper 360, The Lead with Jake Tapper, The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, Erin Burnett's Out Front and Newsroom.

Alesci has delivered original reporting and analysis on breaking financial and economic news and trends, including U.S. public companies' response to COVID-19, the Black Lives Matter movement and White House economic, trade and social policies. She has interviewed many of the country's leading politicians and business executives, including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co CEO Jamie Dimon, Starbucks Corporation founder and former CEO Howard Schultz, and Chobani's founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya for a 2015 CNN story about the company's policy of employing refugees.

"As the daughter of two immigrant parents who sacrificed dearly to give their children a better life, I have a special place in my heart for those who use their platform and success to make the promise of America brighter than it was yesterday," said Alesci. "Chobani is that kind of modern company — and that's why I'm joining. I'm looking forward to helping Hamdi, Peter and Chobani's incredibly passionate team continue to grow and build the next generation food company, one that makes food nutritious, delicious and affordable for all, while helping change the world."

Prior to her work at CNN, Alesci worked as a print and on-air reporter for five years at Bloomberg Television, covering the aftermath of the financial crisis and breaking news on some of the biggest business and private equity deals that followed. Alesci received a M.A. in Journalism with honors from The City University of New York's Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, a B.S. in Criminal Justice magna cum laude from Pace University, and a post-baccalaureate certificate in business from Columbia University.

Alesci serves as a director and treasurer of the board of the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY and volunteers as an advocate for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, hosting many of its major fundraising events and raising awareness about Type 1 Diabetes.

Last week, Chobani announced veteran finance executive Jody Macedonio would join the company to serve as Chief Financial Officer, an appointment that was also effective on Dec. 28. Like Alesci, Macedonio will report to McGuinness and be a member of Chobani's Executive Leadership team.