(Aug. 28) CINCINNATI — Chiquita Brands International Inc. announced Aug. 27 that Robert Fisher, 64, is stepping down from his temporary post as the company’s chief operating officer.

Fisher took over the job at Cincinnati-based Chiquita in March after the company reorganized under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. He had been a member of Chiquita’s board of directors, a post he will retain.

“The company will continue to call on Bob for advice and counsel in the months and years ahead because of his extensive experience in the banana industry,” chairman and chief executive officer Cyrus Freidheim said in a news release.

Freidheim said Fisher’s role as chief operating officer was “extraordinarily valuable, ensuring a smooth transition and allowing the senior management team to focus on our top-to-bottom review of the company’s strategy and operations.”

Chiquita does not plan to fill the position, Freidheim said, noting he has confidence in his current operating managers — Bob Kistinger at Chiquita Fresh and David Ockleshaw at Chiquita Processed Foods.

Before joining Chiquita, Fisher was a well-traveled banana industry veteran. He was president of Dole Food Co. Inc. and worked at that company for 25 years in a variety of banana and fruit operations positions. He also had a short stint in 1990 with what was then PPI Del Monte, a subsidiary of Polly Peck International.

Fisher also worked as the chief operating officer for the Noboa Group, an Ecuadoran banana exporter, and was president of Geest Banana Co., a subsidiary of Dublin, Ireland-based Fyffes Inc.

In the 1990s, Fisher also worked as vice president and chief operating officer of Fruit Shippers Ltd., part of the Pacific Fruit Group that markets Bonita label bananas in the U.S.