Lecil E. Cole Steps Down From Calavo Growers Board of Directors
- by Chandler James
SANTA PAULA, CA - There always comes a time for that next step, and for Calavo Growers’ retired Chairman and CEO Lecil E. Cole, that time is now. The industry vet recently announced that he will be stepping down from Calavo’s Board of Directors on March 1, 2021.
Before his retirement in early 2020, Cole had led the Board as Chairman since 1989 and served as Calavo’s President and Chief Executive Officer since 1999, leading the company through many years of tremendous growth. Cole was also a member of the Board of Directors since 1982.
Having held such esteemed leadership roles at the company for so long, Cole was an integral piece of the Calavo puzzle, with a hand played in many of its best decision making.
Following this change, Calavo’s Board will comprise 11 directors, seven of whom will qualify as independent directors under the independence standards of The Nasdaq Stock Market, according to a press release.
“Lee’s contributions to Calavo cannot be overstated. For decades he was an exceptional steward of our company, building on our proud legacy as the first name in avocados. He set the stage for remarkable growth, taking us from a small grower co-op to a $1 billion company, and positioned Calavo to capitalize on the changing landscape for avocados. I feel privileged to have worked alongside him these many years,” said J. Link Leavens, Chairman of the Board of Directors. “We extend to him gratitude on behalf of our board, our management, our growers, our employees, and our shareholders.”
James Gibson, Chief Executive Officer of Calavo, added, “We were incredibly grateful for Lee’s willingness to remain as a member of the Board following his announced retirement as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman. His mentorship was integral in the smooth transfer of leadership. We wish him and his family all the best in retirement and look forward to our continuing grower relationship.”
We wish the best of luck to Lecil E. Cole as he embarks on the next step.