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Calavo Growers brings back former CEO after executive shake up

calavo logo 2022

SANTA PAULA, Calif., March 13, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Calavo Growers, Inc. BB #:113203, a global avocado-industry leader and provider of convenient, ready-to-eat fresh food, today announced that Lee E. Cole is returning to lead Calavo as President and Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately.

Mr. Cole has agreed to lead the Company for three years with the goal of returning the company to a position of growth and shareholder value creation. Mr. Cole succeeds Brian W. Kocher, who has stepped down from his role.

Mr. Cole served as Calavo’s President and Chief Executive Officer from 1999 until his retirement on January 31, 2020. He served as a Director of Calavo for 39 years, 28 as Chairman of the Board.

“On behalf of Calavo and all of our employees, we thank Brian for all his efforts and wish him success in his future endeavors,” said Steven Hollister, Chairman of the Board of Calavo. “We would also like to welcome back Lee Cole as President and CEO. Lee was responsible for bringing Calavo into the public market and making it one of the largest avocado companies in the world. His knowledge of the avocado business is second to none, and we anticipate great things for the Company and our employees as we move forward.”

“I am honored to be asked to lead Calavo once again and look forward to generating value for our shareholders,” Mr. Cole said.

About Calavo Growers, Inc.
Calavo Growers, Inc. (Nasdaq: CVGW) is a global leader in quality produce, including avocados, tomatoes and papayas, and a pioneer of healthy fresh-cut fruit, vegetables and prepared foods. Calavo products are sold under the trusted Calavo brand name, proprietary sub-brands, private label and store brands.

Founded in 1924, Calavo has a rich culture of constant innovation, sustainable practices and market growth. The company serves retail grocery, foodservice, club stores, mass merchandisers, food distributors and wholesalers worldwide. Calavo is headquartered in Santa Paula, California, with processing plants and packing facilities throughout the U.S. and Mexico. Learn more about The Family of Fresh™ at

Investor Contact
Julie Kegley, Senior Vice President
Financial Profiles, Inc.

Media Contact
Thomas Federl, VP Communications, Marketing & ESG
Calavo Growers, Inc.