Carl H. Lindner, Chairman of the Board of Chiquita Brands International, Inc. (NYSE: CQB), announced yesterday that Steven G. Warshaw, currently President and Chief Operating Officer of the Company, has been named President and Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Mr. Lindner remains Chairman of the Company.
“Steve has led Chiquita to become a stronger company while overcoming an extremely adverse regulatory environment and managing through difficult market conditions,” said Mr. Lindner. “Despite the enormous harm caused by eight years of an illegal European banana import regime, and more recently by the weakening of European currencies in relation to the U.S. dollar, Steve and his team have maintained the vitality and enhanced the market leadership of the Chiquita brand, and they have dramatically improved our operations and cost structure. Chiquita has the best opportunity in the industry to benefit from the recent settlement of the U.S.-EU banana trade dispute, and we are making progress toward the completion of Chiquita’s financial restructuring. I have tremendous confidence that Steve is the right person to lead Chiquita through this next chapter in its history, and I am certain that he will continue to provide the leadership required to maximize the Company’s long-term success.”
“I am honored that Carl and the Board of Directors have placed their confidence in me and our management team,” said Mr. Warshaw. “Their trust in the direction of the Company reflects the strategic focus, dedicated commitment and tremendous work performed every day by our talented employees around the world.”
Mr. Warshaw continued: “We have proven over the last few years that this company is comprised of people who truly pull together to overcome any challenge. I am proud to lead the people who have made Chiquita what it is today — the most efficient producer in the industry, with an exceptional reputation for quality, strong customer relationships and the best ability to demonstrate achievement of leading social and environmental standards. I want to thank our management team and all of our employees for their efforts and contributions. I am fortunate to work with such an outstanding group of people.
“As we move ahead, we will maximize the opportunity that the recent U.S.- EU trade settlement has provided, by maintaining our focus on growing revenues, reducing source-to-market costs, and increasing our productivity and efficiency. We have accomplished a lot over the last few years, and I know that we can significantly improve our operating results. I am confident we have the people in place to enhance Chiquita’s position as the market leader,” said Mr. Warshaw.
The Company also said that it is in continuing discussions with representatives of bondholders about the proposed restructuring of its publicly held debt. The restructuring plan would only involve the publicly held debt of the parent company, Chiquita Brands International, Inc., and will not affect the Company’s operating subsidiaries.
Mr. Warshaw has been President, Chief Operating Officer and a Director of the Company since 1997. He served as Chief Financial Officer from 1994 to 1998, and as Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of the Company from 1990 to 1997. Mr. Warshaw has served the Company in various capacities since 1986.
Chiquita is a leading international marketer, producer and distributor of quality fresh fruits and vegetables and processed foods.
To view related research reports, please follow the links below:-
The 2000 World Market Forecasts for Imported Vegetables and Fruit