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May 2, 2014

Henry Canton resigns as C.E.O. of CPBL after years of infighting

Henry Canton

After weeks of speculation and more than a decade at the helm of Citrus Products of Belize Limited, C.E.O., Doctor Henry Canton, has tonight stepped down from the post.  This afternoon, a press release was issued by CPBL announcing Canton’s departure after a twelve-year period and a lofty salary as C.E.O. While he remains a director of the company, Chief Operating Officer Jaime Alpuche has been appointed as his interim replacement.  After years of tension within the industry, primarily with the Citrus Growers Association, the Board of Directors was reconfigured at the end of February, 2014 when government bailed out the industry.  An attempt was first made to terminate Canton in December 2010, by the Citrus Growers Association which, at the time, owned majority shares, but Canton remained head of the embattled company.  This move to fire him succeeded a resolution passed at an extraordinary meeting of the association, but was never enforced by the board of directors, as the decision was met with court action.  It was business as usual in Pomona Valley until February, when the cash-strapped company imperiled the industry.  When government stepped in later that month with financial rescue, a memorandum of understanding was signed between various stakeholders, including the Social Security Board, the Citrus Growers Association and Banks Holdings.  The M.O.U., however, did not speak to Canton’s tenure.  That decision, said Chairman Doug Singh, was to be made by the seven-member board of directors. Canton’s decision to demit office brings to an end several years of animosity within the citrus industry.

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