Calavo Growers reorganizes business into two segments, eliminates COO position

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Calavo Growers reorganizes business into two segments, eliminates COO position

In a bid to improve efficiencies and cost savings, avocado company Calavo Growers has announced plans to reorganize its business to execute new integration efforts.

The company is now organized into two reporting segments, Grown and Prepared.

The Grown segment will consist of fresh avocados, tomatoes and papaya. The Prepared segment will comprise all other products including fresh cut fruits and vegetables, ready-to-eat sandwiches, wraps, salads and snacks, guacamole, and salsa sold at retail and food service as well as avocado pulp sold to food service.

The two segments each will be led by a Senior Vice President or General Manager responsible for sales, earnings, strategy, international growth, customer fulfillment, grower/supplier relations and new product development.

“The new organizational structure will bring clarity to the decision-making process and increase speed of execution to capture efficiencies and generate growth,” said Brian W. Kocher, Calavo’s President and Chief Executive Officer.

“By aligning product fulfillment responsibilities with P&L management, we will better serve our customers with a cost-effective and market-focused organization.”

In addition to the Grown SVP/General Manager, Rob Wedin, and the interim Prepared SVP/General Manager, Ron Araiza, reporting to Kocher will be leaders with responsibilities for compliance and policy making who have companywide reach and influence.

Some of the key leadership positions that have been filled in recent months are: Chief Financial Officer, Mariela Matute; Chief Human Resources Officer, Graciela Montgomery; Vice President Communications, Marketing & ESG, Thomas Federl, Vice President Calavo de Mexico, Dionisio Ortiz, Vice President Jalisco Operations Eloy Hintz.

Matute and Montgomery, who joined Calavo Growers in October, will remain in their positions. Federl joined Calavo on March 28, and Hintz joined April 4. The other leadership positions are in the process of being filled.

“We have moved quickly to establish an efficient operating structure and fill these roles while ensuring we get the right leaders for success,” Kocher said.

“By finding great leaders, clarifying their responsibilities, identifying accountabilities and arming the organization with processes and services to execute, we will position Calavo for long-term profitable growth.”

The reorganization is part of Calavo’s Project Uno, a profit improvement project, that includes pricing initiatives, SKU rationalization, unified procurement, consolidated freight and optimizing administrative functions across all business units.

The company recently announced a brand refresh, which introduced the new Calavo brand identity and logo and combined all business units under One Calavo Brand.

As a result of the reorganization, the position of Chief Operations Officer, among other roles in the organization, is being eliminated.

Anticipated first year savings in Selling, General and Administrative expenses associated with reduced positions are expected to offset the costs associated with the reorganization and investment in talent to fill the new roles. Ongoing cost savings are expected to amount to over $2 million per year.

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