POLITICO New York — Marico Inc. has hired a new chief executive officer, a move that could further strengthen its brand amid concerns that the company’s product lines could not compete with rival brands in the food industry.
The company on Monday said John Marico, who has been in charge of the edible oils division since January, will become chief executive in March.
He will take over a division that has been plagued by low margins, an uncertain future and a lack of diversity, Marico said.
Marico said the move will allow him to better manage the company and “focus on what we do best: delivering high-quality, ethically sourced and ethically-produced food.”
Marico, 61, has been Marico for nearly two decades and has previously led the company as chairman and chief executive.
He previously served as chief executive of General Mills Inc., and was the chairman and executive chairman of the Marjoram Corp. Marico also served as president of Marimo Brands Inc., the company he cofounded in 1985.
The move comes as Marico has seen its share price fall and is facing new concerns over its ability to keep up with competition in the edible oil business, including its lack of minority and female executives and diversity in its ranks.
Marimo’s edible oils have been widely criticized for not meeting consumer demand and for being high in saturated fat.
In February, Marimo said it was looking at ways to improve its ingredient profile and to focus more on its flavor.
Marimo is now seeking additional funding to make its edible oils more sustainable and more nutritious.
Maricos product line includes products such as chocolate and caramel flavors.
In May, Marisco unveiled a range of flavor oils made from vegetable oils, including coconut, almond, apple and grapefruit.