(May 28, 8:59 a.m.) Two more executives are leaving Tanimura & Antle Inc., Salinas, Calif., which in recent months has reduced costs by cutting acreage, ceasing to grow for the processed salad market and firing three top officials in March.

President Rick Antle said John Killeen, central sales manager, and Steve Koran, western sales manager, decided to leave the company.

“Steve left last Friday, and John will be gone by the end of the week,” Antle said May 27.

He said that while he believed both were staying in the produce industry, they planned to leave the Salinas area.

Killeen on May 27 confirmed he plans to continue to work in the produce industry, but said he could not discuss the details yet. Koran was not available for comment.

“They made the choice to leave, and we met with our group and feel that those positions don’t require being filled,” Antle said.


He said rather than fill the vacated positions the company is designating its sales associates, who report to Bob Antle, founder and principal, as the key contacts for the company’s customers.

“We’ve gone to a very flat structure that empowers each sales associate to have that direct dealing with the customer,” he said.

He would not elaborate on the specifics of the sales associates’ authority in working with customers.

Formerly, Killeen was with NewStar Fresh Foods LLC, Salinas, as vice president of sales and marketing, and joined Tanimura & Antle in July 2006 as vice president of marketing and business development.

“I went back into the sales department last September, and my title changed to vice president of midwestern sales,” he said May 27.

Koran, formerly the director of sales for Growers Express LLC, Salinas, joined Tanimura & Antle in September 2004 as director of retail sales.