Eight Pandol Bros. Inc. employees have lost their jobs in what the company calls a “modernization project,” including former vice president of sales Anthony Stetson and director of marketing and business development Tristan Kieva.
The company began to reshuffle duties in early 2010, said John Pandol, director of special projects at the Delano, Calif.-based table grape grower-shipper.
“Scott Reade has been vice president of sales and marketing for about 10 months, and that hasn’t changed,” he said.
At the time of Reade’s promotion, Stetson’s title was changed to domestic and import sales manager.
“Scott and I will be absorbing the marketing functions,” Pandol said. “There will be no replacement for Tristan.”
The changes stem from a review of all of the company’s information processes, a task the firm’s board of directors assigned to Dave Dever, chief executive officer, when he joined Pandol Bros. in September 2007, Pandol said.
“With the needs of the produce traceability initiative and the demands of retail customers today, we found it every day more difficult to tweak the old systems,” he said. “It was time to start over from scratch.”
The new computer platform and streamlined procedures allow the company to do better work with fewer people, Pandol said.
The company plans to participate in fewer trade shows, particularly the larger shows.
“We weren’t getting the bang for the buck that we used to get,” Pandol said.
The new computer hardware and software will enable the company to benefit from regulatory changes that permit electronic input of information, payments and record keeping on both the growing and the marketing sides, Pandol said. Response from customers and growers has been positive, he said.
Pandol Bros., which has several hundred field, sales, marketing and office staff employees at the Delano headquarters, notified the eight employees Jan. 6, Pandol said.
“It’s sad to have to part with such a great group of employees, and we are helping them move forward,” he said.
Stetson has more than 25 years experience in the industry. He joined Pandol Bros.’ sales staff in 1995 and was promoted to lead the domestic sales department in 2004.
Kieva was the company’s first director of marketing and business development, joining Pandol Bros. in spring 2009. Previous jobs included marketing positions with Sun Pacific Shippers, Paramount Farms Inc. and Frieda’s Inc.