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Golden State Foods CEO/Chairman Dies

Wetterau, 65, suffered illness

Irvine-based Golden State Foods, one of Orange County’s largest private companies, said Chairman and Chief Executive Mark Wetterau has died after 25 years at the helm. He was 65 years old.

Wetterau was surrounded by family when he died due to ongoing health issues.

Conrad Wetterau, Mark’s brother, business partner, and 25-year GSF Board Member, has been elected to serve as GSF’s Chairman of the Board of Directors, effective immediately. Mike Waitukaitis, GSF’s current 13-year Vice Chairman of the board and former chief financial officer of 12 years,  will continue to serve as Vice Chairman of the GSF Board of Directors, effective immediately. Conrad Wetterau and Mike Waitukaitis are both co-owners of Wetterau Associates, GSF’s purchaser in 1998.

“Despite the significant loss of my dear brother, best friend, and long-time GSF leader, Mark, we will continue to build on the incredible momentum of this thriving organization to best serve our valued customers at the highest levels throughout the world,” Conrad Wetterau said in a statement.

Golden State Foods is the fifth largest private company in Orange County, reporting $5 billion in sales in 2021. The company, which employs 6,000, supplies food to 200 leading brands that operate more than 125,000 restaurants or stores in more than 50 countries.

For more on Wetterau’s career, read the May 22 issue of the Business Journal.

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Peter J. Brennan
Peter J. Brennan
Peter J. Brennan has been a journalist for 40 years. He spent a decade in Latin America covering wars, narcotic traffickers, earthquakes, and business. His resume includes 15 years at Bloomberg News where his headlines and articles sometimes moved the market caps of companies he covered by hundreds of millions of dollars. His articles have been published worldwide, including the New York Times and the Washington Post; he's appeared on CNN, CBC, BBC, and Bloomberg TV. He was awarded a Kiplinger Fellowship at The Ohio State University.
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