Calavo Growers' James Gibson Announces Retirement as Steven Hollister is Appointed to Interim CEO; J. Link Leavens Comments
SANTA PAULA, CA - A changing of the guards is taking place today, as Chief Executive Officer of Calavo Growers James Gibson is retiring. While an executive search for his successor gets underway, Steven Hollister, who has been a Board member since 2008, will assume the role of Interim CEO.
“I am proud to have had the honor and opportunity to lead Calavo and would like to thank all of our employees for their commitment and service to the company. We have accomplished a great deal together, and I wish them the best success in the future,” said Gibson.
In a press release, Chairman of the Board of Directors J. Link Leavens discussed the invaluable role Gibson has played in the long-term success of the company.
“Jim’s contribution to building Calavo into what it is today has been enormous. He has served as CEO since February of 2020, and before that, was President of Renaissance Food Group, a company he co-founded and that Calavo acquired more than ten years ago. On behalf of our leadership team and Board of Directors, we want to thank Jim for his vision and leadership and wish him well in his retirement,” said Leavens.
In addition to the new role of Interim CEO, Hollister will serve as Interim Chief Financial Officer until a new CFO is appointed, and former Interim CFO Farha Aslam will return to her role as an Independent Director. Gibson will continue as an employee of Calavo through September 30, 2021 to assist in transitioning his job responsibilities.
Hollister has been a Managing Member of Rocking Spade, an investor and developer with interests in ranching and commercial properties, since 2001. Previously, he was Vice President of Sunrise Mortgage and Investment Company, General Manager of Niven Family Wine Estates, Chief Operating Officer of Fess Parker Winery and Vineyard and Santa Barbara County Wine Center, and Senior Vice President of Central Coast Farm Credit.
“Steve is a very accomplished executive with significant expertise in both finance and agriculture, and a deep understanding of our business, brand, operations, and people,” Leavens continued. “His leadership and experience make him the perfect person to lead Calavo through this transition.”
We wish all the best to Jim Gibson as he enters retirement, and will keep you informed as to who will take the helm of Calavo Growers next.