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Chiquita Picks a New CFO

By Rich Smith - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:42PM

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As the old CFO becomes the new COO, the banana producer picks a new bean counter-in-chief.

Charlotte, N.C.-based Chiquita Brands (NYSE: CQB) will soon have a new chief financial officer -- and a new chief operating officer, too. Sort of.

On Wednesday, the banana producer announced that its current CFO, Brian W. Kocher, will be laterally promoted to COO upon filing of the company's Q1 earnings report next month and that new hire, Rick Frier, will replace him in the CFO's post. Frier, previously CFO of privately held Catalina Marketing Corp., is described as having "a strong finance and operational background" and "experience in leading organizations through turnaround situations."

That's good news for Chiquita, which posted only 2% sales growth last quarter and remains unprofitable.

Chiquita did not disclose all the details on its new CFO's compensation plan, but says in an SEC filing that it plans to award Frier $900,000 worth of restricted stock, vesting over four years, as part of his compensation.

Chiquita shares are not reacting particularly positively to news of the new hire, however. Shares are currently trading down 0.4% at $8.50. 

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