StarKist Co., a subsidiary of Dongwon Industries, confirmed that Sam Hwi Lee, was named president and chief executive officer of StarKist. Lee, a StarKist board of director member since 2008, became the interim president of StarKist on Nov. 1, 2012, following the resignation of In-Soo Cho. He was officially appointed as president and CEO last week during a StarKist board of directors meeting.
"I am very pleased to have Mr. Lee as president and CEO of StarKist. He has shown great passion and expertise during the interim period, and we have high expectations for him and the StarKist team," said JaeChul Kim, chairman of Dongwon Industries in a prepared statement.
"StarKist is one of the most recognized brands in America, and we are a leader in the seafood industry. I look forward to working closely with our dedicated team of associates in the U.S., as well as in other parts of the world including American Samoa and Ecuador," said Lee. "Together, we will build upon this company's rich legacy to grow our business."
With a Ph.D. in food science and additional educational experience in business, Sam Lee has more than 30 years of expertise in the consumer packaged goods food industry. He has held leadership positions among some of the largest global food manufacturers, including Dole Food Co., Nestle USA and Nestle Korea - of which he held the president position. Lee has managed and significantly increased the business of some of the world's most highly respected household names, including Taster's Choice Coffee, Nestle Hot Chocolate and Kit Kat.
Lee will continue to be based at StarKist Co. headquarters, which is located in Pittsburgh, Pa.