Calavo Growers Appoints Brian W. Kocher as President and Chief Executive Officer; J. Link Leavens and Steve Hollister Comment
SANTA PAULA, CA - Ever since Calavo Growers announced the retirement of James Gibson back in September, we here at AndNowUKnow have been keeping close watch to see what talented industry stalwart will man the helm next. Today, the avocado maven has pulled back the curtain on its latest move, appointing Brian W. Kocher as President and Chief Executive Officer of the company.
"I am thrilled and privileged to join and lead Calavo for its next phase of growth and transformation,” Kocher said. “I'm excited about the actions and initiatives that are in place and look forward to accelerating the impact of those initiatives while capitalizing on consumer trends that support Calavo's growth. Most importantly, I am honored to join a team focused on the success of our customers and each other."
Before joining the team at Calavo, Kocher held the position of President and Chief Executive Officer of the Castellini Group of Companies, as noted in a press release.
Prior to that, he obtained vast produce industry expertise by occupying several other executive positions, including Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Officer and Interim CEO, at Chiquita Brands International.
“After conducting a thorough search, including interviews with several well-qualified candidates, Brian Kocher was the clear choice of our Board of Directors to become the next President and Chief Executive Officer of Calavo Growers,” said Calavo Chairman J. Link Leavens. “Brian’s deep knowledge, expertise, and operational leadership in the fresh produce industry as a CEO, COO, and CFO make him uniquely qualified to lead Calavo forward and position our company for growth. We are delighted to welcome Brian to our talented team.”
Kocher will officially occupy the role of CEO as of February 1, 2022, succeeding Steve Hollister, who has served as Calavo’s Interim CEO since September. Upon Kocher’s appointment, Hollister will return to serving as an independent member of the Board of Directors.
“I am honored to have led Calavo as Interim CEO during this important time for the company and would like to thank all of our employees for their dedication and commitment,” Hollister said. “Along with the Board of Directors, I strongly believe the future of Calavo will be in great hands under the leadership of Brian Kocher.”
Congratulations to Brian Kocher on his new role as CEO! As the distinguished leader identifies new paths to growth for the company, ANUK will keep an eye out for the latest moves and strategies.