(Feb. 2) Two executives with Chiquita Brands International Inc. are leaving the company and recent promotions behind.

Jim Gallagher, who in August was promoted to vice president of corporate sales and customer development; and Scott Komar, who in October was moved up to vice president of global strategies for salads, are leaving the company, effective in late February.

Gallagher is taking a position at a private-equity firm and Komar is moving to Willcox, Ariz., to be chief operating officer of Eurofresh Farms.

A telephone call to Dwight Ferguson, Eurofresh’s president and chief executive officer, was not returned Feb. 2, nor were calls to Gallagher and Komar.

“They are leaving the company on very cordial terms for personal reasons,” Chiquita spokesman Mike Mitchell said Feb. 2, adding that the departures were not related to each other.

Gallagher, who had been with Salinas, Calif.-based salad maker Fresh Express Inc. — which Chiquita acquired in mid-2005 — since 1999, was vice president of sales and customer development at Fresh Express.

Komar was responsible for Fresh Express’ growth strategy in the value-added salads category, including development of a business model by geography to extend the company’s salad business to new markets.

Mitchell said Corey Kuchta, vice president of agricultural operations, and Jae Chun, director of strategy and salad expansion, would absorb Komar’s responsibilities and report to Tanios Viviani, president of Fresh Express.

The company had not found a successor to Gallagher as of Feb. 2, Mitchell said.

Chiquita shares hit its 52-week peak of $18.50 Feb. 2, having bottomed out for the period at $12.52 Oct. 6.

The latest changes in management are not a sign of a shakeup at Chiquita, Mitchell said.

“I certainly don’t think that there’s any secret message here,” he said. “We’re certainly going to personally miss Jim and Scott. They had both been with Chiquita and Fresh Express before that. Scott had been with the company for about 10 years and Jim had been with the company for eight years.”