Thomas has led the company for nearly 24 years, according to a news release.
“Dana joined Index as its CEO in 1996 when it was a cooperative, successfully led it through a conversion to a for-profit enterprise and managed the business as its stock has steadily increased in value,” John Grether, chairman of the company’s board of directors, said in the release.
The board has started a search for a successor, engaging Jeff Hodge and Neil Sims of the San Francisco office of executive search firm Boyden.
Grether credited Thomas with building a staff and executive team that has helped benefit both growers and stockholders, and “developing partnerships with the country’s leading retail and foodservice providers, significantly growing the company’s market share, maintaining the highest ethical standards in the industry, and positioning Index Fresh as an industry leader,” according to the release.
Index Fresh has packinghouses in Bloomington, Calif., and Pharr, Texas, sourcing avocados from its grower base in California, and imports from Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Peru, according to the release.