New president at Texas ice cream maker Blue Bell

New president at Texas ice cream maker Blue Bell

BRENHAM, Texas (AP) - Blue Bell Creameries says it's elevating its vice president of sales and marketing, Ricky Dickson, to replace the retiring Paul Kruse as president of the Brenham-based ice cream maker.

Dickson becomes the first non-Kruse family member to lead the company since the family took over Blue Bell in 1919. Dickson has worked for Blue Bell for 36 years.

Kruse became president in 2004, oversaw an unprecedented business expansion and then shut for months after public health officials in 2015 determined three people died and more than a dozen became sick because of contaminated Blue Bell products.

The company since then has retooled its equipment and safety procedures and has been rebuilding its business with the help of a $125 million bailout from oil tycoon Sid Bass.

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