Louis Kriel, chief executive officer of Capespan’s fruit division, has announced he will leave the Capespan Group at the end of June.

Fruit CEO to leave Capespan"The opportune time has arrived for me to further my career outside of the fruit industry," Kriel said in a news release from the Cape Town, South Africa-based company.

Kriel has been with Capespan 22 years, including 12 years where he worked outside of South Africa, according to the release. Kriel helped shepherd the group from the days of single-channel marketing through deregulation and the formation of grower-owned Cooperatives, according to the release. Kriel was also on hand for the merger between Outspan and Unifruco and then the formation of Capespan in 1999.

Kriel’s departure was unexpected, according to Capespan Group Ltd. chief executive officer Johan Dique.

“It is with great appreciation that we recognise the long and dedicated service by Louis during which he became an icon in the history of Capespan,” Dique said in the release. “We certainly wish him well with his future plans and respect his decision.”

Capespan will evaluate its strategy of repositioning as a customer driven business and will make further announcements, including possible management restructuring, according to the release.