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May 26, 2009

CANADA: Planet Organic CEO steps down

The president and CEO of Planet Organic Health Corp. is to step down as the Canadian natural foods maker and retailer warns it expects to break more covenants on its lending agreements.

The president and CEO of Planet Organic Health Corp. is to step down as the Canadian natural foods maker and retailer warns it expects to break more covenants on its lending agreements.


The company, which operates natural food supermarkets in Canada and the US, said it “remains in default of its debt covenants” and said “additional covenants” would be breached for the first quarter of the year.


Ron Francisco will step aside as president and CEO and will be replaced by a two-man “office of the CEO”. CFO Darren Krissie and director Brent Knudsen will oversee Planet Organic as that two-man office.


The “interim” structure is likely to remain in place for “three-to-six months”, Planet Organic said. The company has started the search for a permanent CEO.


Francisco will stay with the business as a director and Krissie praised the executive’s tenure at the top of the business.


“Ron has been integral in providing the company with the early stage financings that helped catapult Planet Organic from a small retailer with one location in 2001 and generating C$1.7m (US$1.5m) in revenue to the successful chain it is today with revenues of over C$120m,” Krissie said.

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