Dole CEO to go to Itochu with business units

Thu Dec 6, 2012 6:20pm EST

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(Reuters) - Dole Food Co Inc DOLE.N, which is selling two businesses to Japan's Itochu Corp (8001.T), said on Thursday that its chief executive, David DeLorenzo, will leave to run those businesses at Itochu.

David Murdock, Dole's chairman, will replace DeLorenzo as CEO.

Dole said that Joseph Tesoriero, its chief financial officer, and Sue Hagen, head of human resources, are also leaving the company.

Itochu, Japan's third-largest trading company, is paying $1.7 billion for Dole's worldwide packaged foods and Asia fresh produce businesses, expanding the company's food presence in new markets such as China.

The deal lets Dole pay down its heavy debt load, and leaves it as a much smaller company just selling fresh fruit and vegetables.

Dole said its shareholders approved the deal on Thursday.

(Reporting By Martinne Geller in New York; Editing by Jan Paschal and Steve Orlofsky)

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