Ready Pac says no rush to replace CEO

07/17/2006 12:00:00 AM
Jim Offner

(July 17) Larry Kern wasted little time in accomplishing his mission at Ready Pac Produce Inc.

However, Ready Pac likely won’t be in a hurry to find a permanent replacement for Kern, who said July 7 he was stepping down as president and chief executive officer of the Irwindale, Calif.-based bagged-salad and fresh-cut vegetable shipper and heading into retirement.

“I think that’s going to be up to the board of directors at Ready Pac,” company founder and chairman Dennis Gertmenian said July 13. “We’ll figure that out. Right now, there isn’t any immediate plan, but I’ve only been on the job seven days.”

Gertmenian and Jack Davis, chairman of Ready Pac’s executive committee, took over Kern’s duties on an interim basis when Kern announced his retirement.

Kern won’t disappear entirely from the company, however, Gertmenian said.

“He has a consulting agreement with us, so I imagine that we’ll be seeing him,” Gertmenian said. “There are a few projects that he was working on that I asked him if he’d continue to do, and he said absolutely, he’d be pleased to do so.”

Kern, who could not be reached for comment, had been with Ready Pac since April 2004, coming over from Westlake Village, Calif.-based Dole Food Co., to fill the CEO post that Gertmenian had for 35 years.

Returning to an active leadership role at Ready Pac is not a problem, said Gertmenian, 60.

“I guess it probably has something to do with the fact that my dad didn’t retire until he was 84, and he’s now 94,” Gertmenian said.



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