Chiquita Brands International has announced a number of organisational changes, in part to spur growth of its key product segments – bananas and value-added salads.

Chiquita has named Jeff Filliater and Scott Komar to newly created global product leader positions. Filliater becomes vice president, global strategies for bananas, while Komar becomes vice president, global strategies for salads.

Filliater previously served as senior vice president of Chiquita Fresh North America and Komar as vice president of operations at Fresh Express.

In addition, Richard Continelli, a veteran with nearly 25 years of experience in the consumer packaged goods arena, has been hired as president of Chiquita Fresh North America.

Continelli has worked for confectionery group Mars for the last seven years, most recently as vice president of sales for the Masterfoods USA subsidiary.

Chiquita said it also wants to leverage cold-chain management as a core global capability through the appointments.

As part of this effort, Waheed Zaman, senior vice president of global supply chain organisation and procurement and former chief information officer, will focus full time on leading the company’s global supply chain, and Manjit Singh, who joined the company in April as vice president of corporate information technology, has been promoted to CIO.

Chiquita Brands chairman and chief executive officer Fernando Aguirre said: “The changes announced today are part of our objective to build a high-performance organisation, and are designed to help us take advantage of market growth opportunities.

“First, having two proven senior-level executives focusing on our key product segments across all geographies will help us apply best-practices throughout the organisation, develop a sustainable pipeline of innovative products for each segment, and develop a growth platform for our key products on a global basis.

“Second, as our supply chain becomes more complex, it is critical that we focus on creating efficiency and ensuring that cold-chain management remains a core capability. We believe the changes announced today will further strengthen our business in these two critical areas and position us to achieve our goals.”