SANTA PAULA, CALIF. — Brian W. Kocher has been named president and chief executive officer of Calavo Growers, Inc., effective Feb. 1, 2022. Calavo Growers is a provider of avocados and value-added fresh foods to retail grocery, foodservice, club stores, mass merchandisers, food distributors and wholesalers worldwide.

Mr. Kocher previously led Castellini Group of Companies, one of the largest distributors of fresh produce in the United States. Earlier he held several executive roles, including chief financial officer and chief operating officer, at Chiquita Brands International, a producer and distributor of bananas and other produce. At Calavo, he will succeed Steve Hollister, who has led the company in an interim capacity since September.

“After conducting a thorough search, including interviews with several well qualified candidates, Brian Kocher was the clear choice of our board of directors to become the next president and chief executive officer of Calavo Growers,” said J. Link Leavens, chairman of Calavo Growers. “Brian’s deep knowledge, expertise and operational leadership in the fresh produce industry as a CEO, COO and CFO make him uniquely qualified to lead Calavo forward and position our company for growth. We are delighted to welcome Brian to our talented team.”