Blue Diamond Growers President and CEO Mark Jansen has announced he intends to step down from the role he has held with the agricultural cooperative and global consumer packaged goods leader since September 2010. Jansen has decided to step away after a successful 12-year tenure as CEO, because he believes the organization is well-positioned for future growth, and the timing is right for him to make the change.
The co-op’s board of directors has established a CEO succession committee and is working with an executive search and leadership advisory firm on a nationwide search, open to both internal and external candidates. Jansen will support the search and plans to stay on until a new CEO has been selected and begins working to help ensure business continuity and a smooth leadership transition.
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During Jansen’s tenure, the company has opened a 200 million-lb manufacturing facility in Turlock, Calif., expanded into five new almond product categories, created a global network of licensee partners for Almond Breeze that enabled it to grow into the largest almond milk brand in the world, grew the flavored snack nuts category to earn 50% market share in the U.S. and global distribution in more than 60 countries, and achieved double-digit compounded annual growth.
“Together, we have been fortunate to accomplish what we committed to do—and more,” says Jansen. “Helping the great people of Blue Diamond thrive has been an honor and privilege. The Blue Diamond Growers co-op knows how to get almonds from growers’ farms to families worldwide better than anyone. We’re growing with an accelerated focus on sustainability and a continued commitment to giving back to the stakeholders we serve.”