Feb 6, 2020
Ocean Spray Cranberries names new leader

Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc. Feb. 3 announced a change in leadership.

Bobby Chacko was terminated as President & CEO for a violation of the company’s policy against harassment, Ocean Spray said in a released statement. Ocean Spray’s board of directors has selected James D. White as interim CEO, effective immediately.

“At Ocean Spray, we have pledged to hold everyone accountable and ensure that every decision is made in the best interest of the cooperative,” said Peter Dhillon, chairman of the Ocean Spray board of directors, said in the statement. “It should be noted that Bobby Chacko helped to right the ship at Ocean Spray and set us on a new path. However, no matter how valuable someone’s contributions may be, we simply cannot accept a violation of our company policy.”

Chacko didn’t respond to social media requests from Fruit Growers News for comment about leaving Ocean Spray, or respond to Ocean Spray’s statement.

“In James White, we have an interim CEO who has served as a Board Advisor and is well acquainted with the growth plan we have laid out,” Dhillon said in the released statement. “Combine that knowledge with his remarkable track record at other leading brands, including in the beverage space, and we believe James is ideally suited to keep Ocean Spray on a path to success in the immediate future.”

White previously served as Chairman, President and CEO of Jamba Juice, which, like Ocean Spray, is a leading global healthy lifestyle brand, according to Ocean Spray’s statement. Prior to his time at Jamba Juice, White held senior executive positions at Safeway Stores, Inc., the Gillette Company, and Nestlé-Purina and Coca-Cola. He joined the Ocean Spray Board as an advisor in June 2019. White currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Fair Trade USA and previously served on the board of the Network of Executive Women.

Ocean Spray has begun the search for a permanent CEO, the company said.

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