Schenkel, 69, who joined the company in 2000 in connection with the acquisition of Southern Foods Group, will become vice chairman of Dean Foods' board of directors. He will oversee the transition.
Bernon currently serves as chief operating officer of the Dean Dairy Group's Northeast Region. Bernon and Shenkel both currently sit on the Dean Foods board
"We are deeply grateful to Pete for his countless contributions to Dean Foods Company over the past five years," said Gregg Engles, chairman and CEO. "Pete has more than 50 years of dairy industry experience and provides unmatched expertise and invaluable leadership for our organization. He has strong relationships with our customers and our employees and will work closely with Alan during this transition."
While under his leadership, the Dairy Group has become the nation's leading dairy processor, growing to more than 100 processing plants nationwide and encompassing more than 50 regional dairy brands. Schenkel also was instrumental in consolidating the company's dairy operations following the merger of Dean Foods and Suiza Foods Corporation in 2001.
Bernon, 51, joined Suiza in 1997, when it acquired Garelick Farms, Franklin, Mass., where he was the third generation to work in the family business.