Sixty-four-year-old Robert Fisher has revealed that he will shortly retire from his temporary role as acting COO of Cincinnati-based Chiquita Brands International, a marketer, producer and distributor of fresh and processed foods.

Fisher assumed the acting COO post in March 2002 after the firm's financial reorganisation. He will remain a member of Chiquita's board of directors.

"I want to thank Fisher for giving so generously of his time and expertise over the past five months," said Cyrus Freidheim, chairman and CEO. "The company will continue to call on Bob for advice and counsel in the months and years ahead because of his extensive experience in the banana industry."

Freidheim also noted that the company does not plan to fill the COO position.