Blue Diamond Growers chairman of the board, Dan Cummings, announced that Kai Bockmann will join the agricultural cooperative and global consumer packaged goods (CPG) leader as president and chief executive officer (CEO) on January 17, 2023.
The board selected Bockmann after working with executive search and leadership advisory firm, Egon Zehnder, to recruit and consider candidates from across the country. Bockmann will succeed Mark Jansen who announced his plans to step down after a successful 12-year tenure as CEO.
“The search process went well, and we couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome,” Cummings said in the announcement. “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 most recently served as president and chief operating officer (COO) at Saputo Inc. – one of the world’s largest dairy companies – where he led operations that included 67 plants and 18,000 employees across the United States, Canada, Australia, Argentina, and the United Kingdom. From 2017 to 2021, he and his team grew revenue from $11 billion to $14 billion. From 2012 to 2021, the international business he led grew from less than $500 million to more than $4 billion. Prior to Saputo Inc., Bockmann was at McCain – a large producer of frozen potatoes – where he served as president of the international division and accelerated international sales across 60 export markets, doubling revenues over four years.
“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 the announcement. “I look forward to learning from growers and team members and keeping our immediate focus on maintaining business continuity and growth momentum.”
Cummings said the board, Bockmann, Jansen, and the entire experienced executive team at Blue Diamond will work closely together to ensure a smooth transition in leadership over the next few months.