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Rodney out at Salada

Published:Sunday | May 25, 2014 | 12:00 AM

This story first appeared online on last Friday.

The managing director of coffee processor Salada Foods Jamaica Limited, Julian Rodney, has demitted office. He vacated the position on May 20, after three years in the top job.

Rodney said he is leaving to pursue personal interests. He is headed out the door even before a replacement has been tapped.

He said last Thursday that a board member would likely act in his stead until the post is officially filled.

"There is no replacement as yet. I think one of the directors will act in the interim, but that is an assumption. I am not sure if they have formally picked someone."

His departure comes as the coffee company posted dismal half-year results in which revenue dropped 14 per cent, selling and marketing expenses climbed 15 per cent and profit slumped by 50 per cent below last year's levels.

Half-year operating profit was down from $72 million to $36 million from diminished revenue of $252 million.

"These results were adversely affected by the subsidiary Mountain Peak Food Processors Limited which has not yet reached a break-even position and incurred a loss for the quarter and period," said the directors statement released with the March 2014 earnings report and signed by chairman John Bell and Jeff Cobham.

The company's cash holdings dropped to one-fifth the levels of a year ago, from $223m to $48m, amid rising receivables that have doubled to $174 million since last September.

Rodney joined Salada in 2011. He replaced John Rosen as managing director.

His previous jobs were general manager at Serge Island Dairies and business development manager for Seprod, and plant manager at Kraft Foods Jamaica.

Prior to his Jamaican postings, he was a business analyst with Scancem International in Norway between 1997 and 2000.

Officials at Salada could not be reached for comment on Rodney's separation from the company as the Sunday Business was told no one was available to speak.

tameka.gordon@gleanerjm.com