Monday, May 14, 2012

After a rather public courtship by several cities last year, Chiquita Brands International, Inc. announced at the end of November that it would relocate its corporate headquarters from Cincinnati to Charlotte. The company's CEO and other executives were immediately greeted with great fanfare. Some critics, however, questioned whether the city, county, and state gave away too much in financial incentives--$24 million worth, comprised of tax credits and grants--to land the international fresh food distributor most known for its bananas. But supporters lauded the deal for the 400 jobs that were promised to be brought here.

At the time of the announcement last fall, CEO Fernando Aguirre said he expected about 200 of those jobs to be filled in Charlotte, believing that the other approximately 200 would be Cincinnati employees who accepted relocation packages. Even for the Charlotteans not hired, that's about 200 workers and their families relocating here, buying homes, paying taxes, and contributing to the local economy in other ways.

As Chiquita prepares its move to the NASCAR Plaza office tower in Uptown, it currently has about 60 jobs posted for positions in Charlotte, based on a search I did this morning. Those open jobs are in several departments, including marketing, customer service, financial planning, food safety, project engineering, business development, transportation, and more. You can find out more about jobs at Chiquita by visiting

Chiquita employs more than 21,000 people worldwide, with operations in nearly 70 countries. It isn't all fruitful for the company, though. Last week, Chiquita released its first quarter earnings for 2012, reporting a significant loss.


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