(Feb. 1) Global kiwifruit marketer Zespri International Ltd., Mount Maunganui, New Zealand, has found a replacement for soon-to-leave chief executive officer Tim Goodacre.

The company and its chairman, Craig Greenlees, this week announced plans to install Tony Nowell in the CEO slot in March. In a news release, Greenlees refered to Nowell as a “high caliber leader,” and said the executive was hired after an extensive search.

Zespri cited Nowell’s business experience in Asia and Europe as particularly beneficial as the company learns to grasp and respond to the needs of its consumers. Asia and Europe are two important growth areas, Zespri said.

In addition to operations in New Zealand and the U.S., Zespri has locations in Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Italy and Belgium. In the U.S., Zespri has offices in Burlingame and Visalia, Calif.

Nowell comes to Zespri from outside the fresh produce industry, having spent his career in the tourism, fragrance/beauty, household and body care, and biscuit and snack food industries, Zespri said.

Zespri said Nowell would officially begin his new job March 5, and would meet Zespri’s kiwifruit growers during the first of several planned “industry roadshows” this year. The first roadshow is scheduled for March 5 through March 16.

March 5 will also mark the official departure of Goodacre after a 4 ½ year run as Zespri CEO.

“Tim has helped this business reconnect with its growers and was instrumental in the launch of our corporate strategy, creating a shared vision and setting in place a strong foundation for future success,” said Greenless, in the release. “We wish him every success in the future,” he added.