Shawn Harris, founder and chief executive of leading European exotic fruit and vegetable importer Nature’s Pride, is to hand over responsibility for the day-to-day running of the business, the company has announced.
The handover, which is due to take place at the start of September, will see Fred van Heyningen and Adriëlle Dankier assume control of the group’s daily operations, while Harris will continue to be involved in the company as member of its management board.
Van Heyningen, a former global head of food and agri banking at Rabobank, joined the company in September 2016 to head up operations and personnel. He will take over as chief executive.
Dankier, who has spent many years as Nature’s Pride’s commercial director, will continue to be responsible for all of its commercial activities.
Rune Flaen, chairman of Nature’s Pride holding company Nature’s Management and chief executive of Norwegian importer Bama Gruppen, which acquired a majority stake in Nature’s Management in 2010, thanked her for her contribution as founder and chief executive.
“I want to thank Shawn for the fantastic cooperation and work as the CEO since the very beginning and we are extremely happy that she wants to continue to be a part of the company as a member of the management board,” he said.
“At the same time, I welcome Fred as the new CEO of Nature’s Pride and want to confirm Adriëlle’s very important role on the commercial side.”
Harris commented: “I have been working closely together with our growers, clients and a fantastic team of colleagues to build this unique and strong company. I’m very grateful for that and looking forward with confidence that Nature’s Pride will continue to flourish.”
She added that the decision to take a step back would enable her consider other potential projects while continuing to be a part of Nature’s Pride.
“This step gives me a better balance in life and will give me the opportunity to advise and guide some start-up businesses I am involved in, based on my own experience as entrepreneur. I will remain committed to the development of the company, but with more distance.”