US-based fruit major Driscoll’s has appointed a new CEO in the shape of current senior executive Soren Bjorn.
Currently president of the Americas at the California-headquartered berries supplier, Bjorn will succeed existing CEO Miles Reiter when he retires from the role in January. Reiter will become executive chairman.
Bjorn joined Driscoll’s in 2006. As the former senior vice president of international business and global technologies, he led business development in Europe, South America and Australia, as well as global R&D.
He became the leader of Driscoll’s business unit in North America in 2013 and became president of the Americas in 2017.
Driscoll’s said Bjorn will guide the company’s efforts to implement new technologies that improve operational efficiencies and ensure the business remains resilient against industry-wide challenges such as climate change.
Bjorn said: “Miles’ legacy is the power and clarity of Driscoll’s mission, vision and values. He has used them to guide every decision and action for the company. As the new steward of Driscoll’s, I fully commit to all our employees, partners and customers that I will build upon his legacy and honour these same principles.”
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Reiter twice served as the company’s CEO - once from 2000-2015 and again from 2018 to the present.
He said: “It’s now time for me to step aside as CEO. Along with our board of directors, I have sought a new leader who is deeply committed to our values, our mission, and a future in which Driscoll’s becomes the world’s berry company, enriching the lives of everyone we touch. It is with great enthusiasm and confidence that we appoint Soren as the new CEO.”
Driscoll’s has farmed strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries for more than 100 years and is behind the Only the Finest Berries brand.
It has over 900 independent growers in more than 20 countries and its products are sold in more than 40 countries across North America, Australia, Europe and China.
Last month, it was part of the consortium led by private-equity investor Paine Schwartz Partners that successfully bid to take over Australia-based fresh fruit and vegetables grower Costa Group.