Fresh Del Monte Produce adds Guidehouse COO Charles Beard to board

Fruit and vegetable giant Fresh Del Monte Produce has welcomed Charles Beard as an independent board member. The current chief operating officer of management consultancy Guidehouse brings 30 years of advisory experience in technology and operations to Del Monte’s board.

Beard has deep expertise leading complex engagements for public and private sector clients in the areas of technology management, business automation, cybersecurity risk management, and operational transformation.

“Charles will offer us key insights in digital innovation and business automation to better enable us to meet one of our five-year strategic objectives to become a technology-driven company and drive greater efficiencies in our key business operations,” said CEO Mohammad Abu-Ghazaleh.

Beard became COO of Guidehouse in 2018 when PwC’s public sector practice was acquired by Veritas Capital and subsequently rebranded. He had previously spent five years at the Big Four firm, where he was a principal focusing on cybersecurity-related consulting services.

Charles Beard, Chief Operating Officer at Guidehouse

Before PwC, Beard was GM of cybersecurity, as well as SVP and chief information officer at SAIC, a large IT services firm catering to government and federal contractor clients. He also spent time as a director in the aviation and aerospace sector at consulting firm Oliver Wyman, specializing in IT strategy, corporate transactions, and restructuring.

He started his consulting career at KPMG/BearingPoint, where he spent 15 years and rose to the position of SVP for transportation and industrial markets. Beard holds an MBA from the University of Montana, a master of jurisprudence from Seton Hall School of Law, and a BS from Texas A&M University.

Fresh Del Monte is one of the largest producers, marketers, and distributors of fresh and fresh-cut fruit and vegetables. The firm also produces and distributes prepared food in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.

The company was created in 1989 when RJR Nabisco sold off the fresh fruit division of Del Monte Foods to Polly Peck. Fresh Del Monte was later purchased by Mohammad Abu-Ghazaleh in 1996 and went public a year later. The firm significantly expanded through its acquisition of Del Monte Europe in 2004 and its purchase of US vegetable packer Mann Packing in 2018.

Fresh Del Monte had revenues of $4.489 billion in 2019, with a gross profit of $300.6 million. The company has approximately 38,000 employees, with US headquarters located in Coral Gables, Florida.

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