CINCINNATI: Chiquita Brands International has created its first VP
of corporate communications position, and is also now looking for a
director of corporate communications.
Jeffrey Zalla, corporate responsibility officer, will hold his old
title, as well as that of VP of corporate communications. Zalla reports
directly to Steven Warshaw, Chiquita president and CEO.
The announcement of Zalla's new responsibilities came a few days before
Chiquita filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company aims to
reduce its debt by about $700 million.
Zalla said the two events are not linked, but do complement each
"The creation of the position doesn't have anything to do with the debt
restructuring process we're going through, but I think people have begun
to realize through the process the value of transparent communications,"
The opening for director of corporate communications requires an
English-Spanish bilingual practitioner. The native language of 80% of
Chiquita employees is Spanish, Zalla explained, and the first priority
of the communications director will be to help the company define a
communications strategy to reach those workers, as well as external
The VP of public affairs job - left vacant for close to a year, since
the departure of Joseph Hagin - will not be filled.