Schwan Food Co. announced Monday that Dimitrios Smyrnios, a veteran food industry executive most recently with Nestlé S.A., will be its new CEO.

Smyrnios begins immediately, replacing former Schwan CEO Greg Flack, whose departure was announced Sept. 24. Flack, 49, had been the Marshall, Minn.-based firm's CEO for the past 5 years and was slated to step down Oct. 4.

Smyrnios, 50, had been with Nestlé for 20 years, spending the last year as president of the company's Dryer's ice cream division. Before that, he was executive vice president and general manager of Nestlé Waters home & office division and retail division. Smyrnios began his career at PepsiCo's Frito-Lay division, where he spent 8 years in sales and marketing.

"He is a proven leader with a strong track record in profitably growing businesses," Schwan Chairman Allan Schuman said in a statement. "Importantly, he is deeply familiar with our business, having spent his entire career in the food industry in leadership positions at PepsiCo and Nestlé S.A."

Schwan is a privately owned frozen foods maker that sells through retail outlets and home delivery, and has about $3 billion in annual revenue. Its product lineup includes ice cream and pizza, including the Red Baron, Tony's and ­Freschetta pizza brands.