(March 8) YUBA CITY, Calif. — Dried fruit marketing giant Sunsweet Growers Inc. has appointed a new president.

Arthur Driscoll II has been handed the reins. He was promoted Feb. 27 from his post as chief operating officer.

Harold Schenker has served as chief executive officer and president of Sunsweet since 2000 and will retain the position of chief executive officer.

“Art has been a driver behind many of the key initiatives that Sunsweet has successfully undertaken in the past two years,” Schenker said in a news release.

Driscoll has been moving up Sunsweet’s management ladder during the past five years. He was named chief operating officer last April. This was a step up from global sales and marketing vice president, a post he accepted in 1999.

Driscoll will be responsible for finance, sales and marketing, human resources, operations, logistics and business planning.

As Sunsweet approaches its 90th year in 2007, it is focusing on two growth initiatives.

The first involves increasing consumption within the dried fruit category, particularly dried plums. The second involves seeking purchasing opportunities of companies that fit well with Sunsweet, Driscoll said.

Before joining Sunsweet, Driscoll spent five years with Dole Fresh Vegetables Inc., Salinas, most recently as vice president of value-added.

Sunsweet lifts COO to president