Cincinnati-based Chiquita Brands International has named Joe Huston its North America president. He succeeds Brian Kocher, who was appointed president of Europe and the Middle East.

Kocher succeeds Michel Loeb, who will serve in a special assignment for Chiquita chief executive officer Fernando Aguirre.

Huston and Kocher “are proven executives who have worked together closely to lead our business turnaround in North American bananas and salads,” Aguirre said in a news release.

“(Huston) has been prepared and developed to lead the region through assignments in both our banana and salad operations, and he has the focus and drive to sustain the momentum of our profit improvements,” Aguirre said.

Kocher joined Chiquita in 2005 and was North America president since October 2007. He previously served as vice president, controller and chief accounting officer. His prior work experience included stints at General Electric and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Huston started with Chiquita in 2004 and served since January 2009 as vice president of salad, healthy snacking and vegetable ingredients. In prior experience at Chiquita he was vice president for the United Kingdom and Ireland division, and vice president for marketing and innovation in North America.

Before Chiquita, Huston had more than a decade of experience in marketing and brand management at Procter & Gamble.

Loeb managed Chiquita’s European business since 2004. He spearheaded the relocation of Chiquita’s European headquarters to Rolle, Switzerland.