New StarKist CEO thinks global
Dongwon Group agreed to buy a tuna cannery in Senegal late last year, taking a step into African and European markets. Next up for the South Korean conglomerate, according to various news reports, could be an investment in a Spanish canned tuna company.
For Pittsburgh-based StarKist, its parent company’s merger and acquisition forays could mean more exposure globally for the brand known for its Charlie the Tuna mascot.
Dongwon acquired StarKist in 2008, when it was sold by Del Monte Foods after earlier being sold off by the H.J. Heinz Co. Packaging, and selling tuna has challenges different from those that come with selling ketchup or canned vegetables, and overall tuna consumption hasn’t exactly been growing in recent years.
But the South Korean company, which started as a tuna company and later diversified into other products, saw an opening. So did In-Soo Cho, who was brought in last year as president and CEO of the Pittsburgh tuna company after Dongwon decided to switch from earlier leadership.