Sun-Maid Growers of California announced Monday that company President and CEO Harry Overly will transition to the new role of Executive Chairman of the Board as he assumes new responsibilities outside of the company, effective September 14, 2022.
Sun-Maid Chief Financial Officer Braden Bender will be appointed interim president as Overly works with the board of directors to conduct an executive search and finalize the company’s CEO succession plan.
The change comes just three months after Sun-Maid was named one of the best-managed companies in the United States by Deloitte and the Wall Street Journal.
“Harry is a considerate and ambitious leader and we’re fortunate to have had him lead our company over the last five years,” said Steve Kister, chairman of Sun-Maid’s board. “We’re thankful for the leadership, vision and outstanding performance Harry brought to Sun-Maid. I’m very pleased that Harry will continue to work with our board as executive chairman, to continue the momentum he’s established.”
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Overly has served as president/CEO of Sun-Maid since 2017, having transformed the 110-year-old cooperative into a consumer and market-focused organization dedicated to delivering superior returns for its grower-members.
In 2021, he successfully spearheaded the company’s first-ever brand acquisition, bringing on Plum Organics, a leading premium, organic baby food business from Campbell’s Soup Company. Under his leadership, Sun-Maid surpassed multiple company sales records as the agricultural business continues to aggressively grow.
“It’s been an honor and a privilege to lead the Sun-Maid organization. I’d like to thank the board of directors, each and every grower-member and employee for their support as we transformed this beloved business and iconic brand to be more relevant to today’s shoppers,” said Overly. “While I’m personally excited for my next adventure within the better-for-you snacking space, which will still be involved with growers here in California’s Central Valley, the Sun-Maid family will always be important to me.”