David Marguleas (from left), Jeff Jackson and Keith Mitchell ( Courtesy Sun World )

David Marguleas is the new CEO of Sun World International, succeeding Merrill Dibble, who takes on a new role at parent company Renewable Resources Group.

The company, which has focused on breeding stone fruit and grape varieties, has plans to expand that research to other crops, according to an Aug. 13 news release.

The announcement came three months after Sun World stepped away from the production side of the business, selling its California vineyards and farms to focus on the breeding, genetics and licensing business, through Sun World Innovations. Marguleas, a vice president at Sun World International at the time, was head of Sun World Innovations.

With the sale of the farms, Sun World Innovations is now known as Sun World International, according to the release.
Sun World’s breeding program for table grapes and stone fruit produces varieties for more than 1,500 licensed growers in 14 countries, according to the release. The company plans to expand its portfolio of proprietary varieties.

“Today’s consumer seeks a richer eating experience and Sun World has long been at the forefront of bringing more flavorful produce to market,” Marguleas said in the release. “The ‘new’ Sun World remains committed to bringing improved grape and stone fruit varieties to growers in most of the world’s fruit producing countries.

“We’re now also poised to diversify into other tremendously economically important fruit crops — through organic growth, acquisitions or both —and to expand our (intellectual property) and genetics’ footprint,” he said in the release.

Dibble, who was CEO at Sun World until the sale of the farmland, will oversee the Renewable Resources Group’s agricultural operations.

Other personnel changes include the hiring of Jeff Jackson as executive vice president of business development. He has a background that covers the production, and sales and marketing, according to the release. He has been in senior management roles at Chiquita Brands International, Earthbound Farm and Tanimura & Antle.

Keith Mitchell is also a member of the Sun World executive team, as executive vice president and chief financial officer, directing finance and administrative functions, according to the release.

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