Chiquita Appoints Edward F. Lonergan President and Chief Executive Officer
10/02/2012 – Charlotte, N.C. – Chiquita Brands International, Inc. (NYSE: CQB) today announced that Edward F. Lonergan has been appointed President and Chief Executive Officer, effective October 8, 2012. Mr. Lonergan succeeds Fernando Aguirre, who previously announced his plan to step down as Chairman, President and CEO of Chiquita. Mr. Lonergan has also been appointed to the Company's Board of Directors. Kerrii B. Anderson has been named non-executive Chairwoman of the Board of Directors, also effective October 8, 2012.
Mr. Lonergan most recently served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Diversey, Inc., a leading global provider of sustainable cleaning, sanitation and hygiene solutions. At Diversey, Mr. Lonergan led the strategic and financial turnaround of the company, significantly improving efficiency, market competitiveness and shareholder value, and established Diversey as a global leader in sustainability.
"We are extremely pleased to announce that, after a thorough search process, the Board has chosen Ed Lonergan as its next President and Chief Executive Officer," said Kerrii B. Anderson, Chiquita's Chairwoman. "Ed brings more than 30 years of leadership experience across many industries, and is widely recognized as an outstanding business leader with an impressive track record of success. Ed's leadership and operational expertise ideally suit him to lead Chiquita in its next phase of growth. I look forward to working closely with Ed as we continue to execute our strategic priorities and create stockholder value."
Mr. Lonergan said, "I am honored and excited to have the opportunity to lead Chiquita, a Company with strong equity and high-quality products. Chiquita has a solid foundation on which to build, and an excellent team in place that is well equipped to take the necessary steps to drive change and enhance operations. I am committed to working closely with the Board, management team and talented employees to continue the Company's financial and strategic turnaround aimed at refocusing and re-energizing the core business and driving down costs. We believe this strategy will allow Chiquita to enhance its competitive position and further align its operations and investments to increase profitability, improve cash flow, reduce debt and drive long-term shareholder value."
Ms. Anderson concluded, "On behalf of the Board, I want to thank Fernando for his commitment to ensuring a smooth transition as well as for his dedication and contributions over almost nine years of service to Chiquita. We wish him all the best in his future endeavors." As previously disclosed, Mr. Aguirre has agreed to make himself available for a one year period as a consultant to assist in the transition.
Prior to Diversey, Inc., Mr. Lonergan served as the President of the European region for The Gillette Company from May 2002 to December 2005. There, Mr. Lonergan was accountable for more than $3.8 billion in sales revenue. He and his team led strong improvements in brand equity and strategic customer growth while significantly enhancing the operational efficiency and profitability of the European region. Prior to joining The Gillette Company, Mr. Lonergan spent 21 years with The Procter & Gamble Company, where he held a variety of leadership positions both domestically and internationally, including general management roles in customer business development and in developing markets. Mr. Lonergan graduated from Union College in New York in 1981 with a BA in political science and is married with two adult children.
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