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Chiquita's top leader spoke of resilience and dynamism during Leaders in Action event

05/15/12 -  

Fernando Aguirre, chairman and CEO of Chiquita Brands International Inc., shared insights he's learned since coming to the United States as a young man during a special lecture May 15. The event was part of the BB&T Distinguished Leaders in Action lecture series hosted by the McColl School of Business at Queens.

Queens encouraged participants to use social media to capture their favorite moments from the candid talk.

Aguirre assumed his leadership role at Chiquita in 2004. The company has $3.5 billion in revenues and sells products worldwide with the Chiquita brand on bananas, healthy snacks and smoothies, and Fresh Express salads in North America. Prior to Chiquita, Aguirre worked for more than 23 years in brand management, general management and turnarounds at Procter and Gamble (P&G). Aguirre began his P&G career in 1980 in marketing in Mexico, moved to Cincinnati in 1986, Canada in 1988, and in 1991 became General Manager in Mexico.

A native of Mexico, Aguirre obtained a baseball scholarship at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in business with a specialty in marketing in 1980. He was elected to the Athletic Hall of Fame at SIUE in 2007 and to the alumni Hall of Fame in 2009. Aguirre also attended the prestigious YPO Harvard President's seminar for ten years earning HBS graduate status in 2009. Aguirre is married and has two sons. He holds a Tae Kwon Do brown belt, plays golf, was certified as an open water scuba diver in 2007, and he is an avid reader. Most recently, Aguirre became the first Hispanic CEO to participate in the CBS hit reality television series Undercover Boss. In 2011 he was recognized as one of the one hundred Influentials by Hispanic Business Magazine, and was also honored with the Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award by the National Football League.


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