California Olive Ranch (COR), the largest olive oil producer in the United States, has named a new chief executive officer.
Michael Fox, a former executive at PepsiCo and Safeway with 15 years of experience in the consumer packaged goods sector, has taken the reins from former CEO Gregg Kelley and hopes to pick up right where Kelley left off.
“The company is in a great position to continue innovating, expanding, and bringing awareness to the breadth of opportunity in high-quality extra virgin olive oil,” Fox said in a press release. “I’m excited to lead this great team and partner with our growers in California and abroad.”
Kelley departs from COR after a 12-year stint in charge of the company. During his tenure, according to the company, COR transformed from a single ranch and olive mill into a large-scale operation with thousands of acres of olive groves.
At the 2019 edition of the NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition, COR earned two Gold Awards and a Best in Class for its Lucini brand.
According to former co-workers and supervisors, Fox has a proven track record of successfully growing businesses and managing large transitions, both of which will be necessary as COR confronts the various challenges facing the California olive oil sector.
“He’s a positive force within an organization and he knows how to build a brand through stellar execution, customer engagement and competitive differentiation,” Evan Shumeyko said of his former colleague. “He delivers at the moments that matter most.”