David McCann is retiring from the helm of Fyffes after a 34-year career with the tropical fruit importer, including the past 14 years as chairman.
Fyffes announced that Mr McCann will step down at the end of the month as both chief executive and chairman of the Dublin-based firm.
He will be succeeded as CEO by former Chiquita executive Helge Sparsoe and as chairman by Summit Fresh Produce CEO Tom Wada. Mr Wada also is a former senior executive at Sumitomo Corporation, the Japanese company that bought Fyffes in December 2016 for €751m.
Mr. McCann was appointed as managing director of Fyffes Group operations in 1989, as chief executive in 1995 and as chairman in 2006.
“Today Fyffes is the oldest fruit brand in the world and a leading supplier of fresh produce, employing over 10,000 people. I have greatly enjoyed working with everyone in Fyffes to build it into the major global fresh produce company it is today,” Mr McCann said.
“I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of my colleagues in Fyffes and Sumitomo Corporation great success as they chart the future course for this very special business.”
Sumitomo’s chief executive, Masayuki Hyodo, praised Mr McCann as “an outstanding leader of this business. We appreciate the stability he has brought, especially over the last three years since the acquisition.”
Mr McCann’s brother, Carl, is chairman of Total Produce, the firm created in 2006 when Fyffes was split into two companies.
They both are grandsons of the founding father of the business, Charles, who opened a Dundalk fruit stall in 1902. Their father, Neil, built the family firm into Fruit Importers of Ireland. In 1986 it bought Fyffes, at the time a British company, and built it into one of the world’s biggest importers and distributors of bananas, melons, apples and other fruits and vegetables.