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Greenyard has appointed Hein Deprez as chief executive officer of the Belgium fruit and vegetable company to replace Marleen Vaesen, while Carl Peeters will fill the newly-created role of chief operating officer. 

Deprez is currently executive chairman at the firm and Peeters is the chief financial officer. A search for a new CFO is underway, Greenyard said in a statement today (29 January). Both will jointly head the company’s leadership team.

Vaesen will leave Greenyard under mutual consent on 31 January after five years at the firm, when she would have overseen the 2015 merger between Greenyard, Univeg and Peatinvest.

Deprez will step down as executive chairman of the board of directors but will remain a member of the board. Koen Hoffman, a member of the board since October 2017, will take on the role of chairman. 

In other changes, Tim Van Londersele will lead the company’s fresh operations except the Greenyard Bakker division, which will be managed by Irénke Meekma. Long fresh will be steered by Charles-Henri Deprez. Stefaan Vandaele will continue to lead the horticulture segment. 

The reshuffle comes weeks after Greenyard said talks to acquire US food group Dole Food Co. had ended without a “definitive agreement” after saying in December it was in advanced negotiations to purchase the firm. And in June, Greenyard said it had bought Polish mushroom substrate supplier Mykogen from private-equity firm Abris Capital Partners

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“After this initial transformation period following the merger, the announced management changes are a next step to further execute our strategy,” Deprez said. “By doing so, we will focus even more on our strategy and priorities to continue generating profitable growth and strengthening our global leadership position in fruit and vegetables. 

“I would like to thank Marleen for her valuable contribution by transforming Greenyard into today’s modern, strong company.”