Sacramento, California-based Blue Diamond Growers and its board chairman, Dan Cummings, have announced that Kai Bockmann has been named as president and CEO, effective Jan. 17.
The board selected Bockmann after working with executive search and leadership advisory firm, Egon Zehnder, to recruit and consider candidates from across the country. Bockmann will succeed Mark Jansen, who announced his plans to step down after a 12-year tenure as CEO.
“The search process went well, and we couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome,” Cummings said. “Kai has more than a quarter of a century of global experience growing CPG companies, and we believe he is the leader we need to keep building our business and brand domestically and internationally, while continuing to deliver returns to our grower-owners.”
Prior to his new role, Bockmann served as president and COO at Saputo Inc., where he led operations that included 67 plants and 18,000 employees across the U.S., Canada, Australia, Argentina and the United Kingdom. From 2017-21, he and his team grew revenue from $11 billion to $14 billion.
Prior to Saputo, Bockmann was at McCain, a large producer of frozen potatoes, where he served as president of the international division and accelerated international sales across 60 export markets, doubling revenues over four years.
“I’m excited by this phenomenal opportunity to join one of the most consistent and fastest-growing food and beverage companies in the world,” Bockmann said. “I look forward to learning from growers and team members and keeping our immediate focus on maintaining business continuity and growth momentum.”
Cummings said the Blue Diamond team will work together to ensure a transition in leadership over the next few months.
“We’re grateful for Mark’s support during the search and his commitment to helping set Kai and the cooperative up for continued success,” Cummings said. “We’re building from 112 years of success, and we know the future is bright for Blue Diamond because no one knows how to get almonds from growers’ farms to families worldwide better than us.”
Blue Diamond Growers, a grower-owned cooperative representing about 3,000 of California’s almond growers, is an almond marketer and processor. Established in 1910, the company employs more than 1,800 people throughout its processing plants, receiving stations and gift shops. To learn more about Blue Diamond Growers, visit bluediamond.com.