Ed Lonergan

Julie Rose

Chiquita's merger with an Irish produce company will have a minimal impact on the number of jobs the banana giant keeps in Charlotte. The company currently employs about 300 people at its headquarters in uptown.

Julie Rose

"A celebration of new beginnings" is what Chiquita CEO Ed Lonergan called the company's annual meeting in Charlotte on Thursday.  Only about 100 shareholders attended – and most were Chiquita employees. 


Julie Rose

Chiquita Brands International announced a $67 million third-quarter loss Wednesday, but the company's new CEO Ed Lonergan  said that was better than he expected in a year beset with relocation expenses and volatility in European markets.  It was Lonergan's first earnings announcement since being hired last month to replace Fernando Aguirre. 

Julie Rose

The new CEO charged with restoring Chiquita's profits is on the job now and busy introducing himself to the company's 20,000 employees.

Just before speaking with WFAE, he met with an auditorium full of Chiquita employees clad in blue and yellow shirts. Lonergan was impressed.

"That's a really interesting thing for me, because I came here because I have passion for the legacy of this brand and the future potential that it has," says Lonergan. "I also came here because every person I met wears that passion on their sleeve, literally."

Chiquita Names New CEO

Oct 3, 2012

Chiquita's new CEO is better versed in selling soap than bananas, but the company's board believes it needs a someone with turnaround experience right now and Edward Lonergan is their choice. 

News of CEO Fernando Aguirre's exit from Chiquita last month caused some angst in Charlotte. He's been ever-present around town and on Twitter as the charismatic, bow-tie wearing face of the company. . . not to mention the man city leaders dealt with in wooing Chiquita's headquarters here with significant incentives.