Blue Diamond Growers has found its next CEO.
The agriculture cooperative announced on Monday that Kai Bockmann will take over as CEO.
“The search process went well, and we couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome,” said Board Chair Dan Cummings in a statement. “Kai has more than a quarter of a century of global experience growing CPG companies, and we believe he is the leader we need to keep building our business and brand domestically and internationally, while continuing to deliver superior returns to our grower-owners.”
Bockmann will replace Mark Jansen, who is stepping down as CEO after 12 years on the job.
The new CEO joins Blue Diamond after serving as the president and COO at Saputo Inc., one of the world’s largest dairy companies.
While at Saputo he led operations that included 67 plants and 18,000 employees across the United States, Canada, Australia, Argentina and the United Kingdom.
He oversaw revenue growth from $11 billion in 2017 to $14 billion in 2021.
Before his time at Saputo, Bockmann was the president of the International Division at McCain, the largest producer of frozen potatoes in the world.
“I’m excited by this phenomenal opportunity to join one of the most consistent and fastest-growing food and beverage companies in the world,” Bockmann said in a statement. “I look forward to learning from growers and team members and keeping our immediate focus on maintaining business continuity and growth momentum.”
Jansen and the entire executive team will work together to ensure a smooth transition to Bockmann over the next few months, Cummings said.
“We’re grateful for Mark’s support during the search and his commitment to helping set Kai and the cooperative up for continued success,” Cummings said. “We’re building from 112 years of success, and we know the future is bright for Blue Diamond because no one knows how to get almonds from growers’ farms to families worldwide better than us.”
Blue Diamond Growers is a grower-owned cooperative that represents around 3,000 of California’s almond growers.