Chiquita Brands International, the Cincinnati-based marketer and distributor of fresh produce, has announced the appointment of James Thompson as senior vice president and chief compliance officer.

Thompson will serve on the company’s management committee and have responsibility for the day-to-day operation of the company’s compliance and ethics programme. On 1 July, Thompson will succeed Robert Olson as general counsel and secretary, with responsibility for Chiquita’s global law department.

Olson has decided to retire from the company at the end of the year after more than ten years’ service.

“Bob has provided exceptional service and leadership to the company through a period of significant change, including a successful financial restructuring and major acquisitions and divestitures,” said Fernando Aguirre, Chiquita’s chairman and chief executive officer.

“Bob has provided outstanding business expertise and legal counsel over the years, and his professionalism will be missed. Fortunately, Bob has agreed to stay on with the company through the end of the year to help James make a smooth and seamless transition to general counsel.”

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Thompson was previously group vice president, general counsel and secretary at the McLeodUSA telecommunications group.