Jeff Kleinpeter is retiring as president and CEO of Kleinpeter Farms Dairy after more than 25 years at the helm of the family-owned business. His sister, Sue Anne Kleinpeter Cox, who has served as the company’s chief financial officer, will replace him.
The dairy announced the move in a written statement provided to news organizations today, nearly two months after Kleinpeter stepped down from his position, for what his family members said at the time was temporary medical leave.
In a statement of his own today, Jeff Kleinpeter says that during his leave he had a chance to regroup and “felt like it was time to pass the baton to some other family members and team members to carry us forward and allow me to go in another direction.”
In 2014, the 101-year-old dairy was racked by a series of quality control problems that affected the taste and shelf life of its prized milk, costing the company major contracts and testing the loyalty of its longtime customers.
Since last summer, it has invested millions upgrading equipment, hiring consultants and trying to rebuild its brand. Last month, the company announced it would not resume production of its ice cream line, which was initially suspended in December.
In the company’s statement today, Cox thanks her brother for his many years of hard work and wishes him well in his future endeavors. She also notes that over the past few months the dairy has made significant improvements to its facilities and has become certified by the Safe Quality Foods Program.
“It is an honor working with so many good hardworking people dedicated to producing a high quality product,” Cox says.
Kenny Kleinpeter, Jeff and Sue Anne’s brother, will remain as general manager of the dairy, a position he assumed last fall when he returned to the company to help rebuild the business after several years in the music industry.