Chiquita Brands

www.chiquita.com
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Chiquita Brands Reviews

Updated February 16, 2015
Updated February 16, 2015
16 Reviews
3.0
16 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Chiquita Brands President & CEO Edward F. Lonergan
Edward F. Lonergan
16 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Lots of free bananas and a very clean and modern work environment (in 11 reviews)

  • The company has always been family friendly and promotes and lives up to a good work / life balance (in 3 reviews)


Cons
  • Senior Management struggles to recognize improvements (in 5 reviews)

  • Upper management is the problem people in charge don't know what is going on and don't really care (in 5 reviews)

More Highlights

16 Employee Reviews Back to all Reviews

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  1.  

    Limited opportunity for advancement as a Planner.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Planner in Charlotte, NC
    Current Employee - Planner in Charlotte, NC

    I have been working at Chiquita Brands full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Benefits are good after initial grace period.

    Cons

    Very lateral structure, not much opportunity for higher advancement.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take time to know your employees and encourage development through aiding them to have opportunity to take a more challenging position to better themselves.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Good Company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Analyst in Charlotte, NC
    Current Employee - Analyst in Charlotte, NC

    I have been working at Chiquita Brands

    Pros

    Good culture, environment and people

    Cons

    It is going to somewhere soon

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Do more

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 3 people found this helpful  

    Chiquita was a definite learning experience both professionally and personally!!!! Some of the best people to work with

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Charlotte, NC
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Charlotte, NC

    I have been working at Chiquita Brands

    Pros

    Culture: The culture of Chiquita, as it relates to is people is the best I have experienced. Chiquita is very diverse and offers a laid back environment. I do not think I have ever worked with such a great group of people. Chiquita has a small town fill to it. You basically get to know almost everyone, regardless of rank in the organization.
    The workplace is not stuffy and their is a celebration of individuality.

    Upper Management: The upper management, especially the current CEO Ed Lonegran, is very approachable and genuinely wants to know what the employees think. He takes an interest and pushes to learn of the problems in the company. Brian Kocher is also very accessible and cares about the employees. Despite their roles in the company, both try to make real connections with the employees.

    Security: Chiquita hates to fire anyone....even if it is needed.

    Learning: Working at Chiquita will allow you to learn so much about the produce industry. No one would ever think bananas are so fascinating, fast-paced, and complicated. Your job skills will definitely increase because of the ability to learn so much.

    Diversity: A wonderful melting pot of people and cultures. A very modern approach.

    Cons

    Training: There seems to be no organized training in place at Chiquita. Training consists of shadowing those who do the job, if available and being thrown right in to work. Many departments lack actual training manuals and SOPs to go by. The transition to Charlotte came with many workers not transferring in. As a result, the new workers had to basically figure out how to a job that was often completely foreign to them.

    Workload: The workload is immense, to say the least. Everyone seems to be doing at least the job of a minimum of two people. Most of the time its more. It is not uncommon to work through lunch and breaks. Overtime is commonplace but overtime pay is not. The workload is uneven, meaning that those that can are expected to and those that can't .....they are not. If you are good at your job, Chiquita will keep giving you more work but do not expect any more compensation. For some reason supervisors feel that verbally acknowledging your hard work is compensation enough. There is miraculously never enough money in the budget to reward you for your work.

    Benefits: The benefits in 2012-14 were amazing, especially price but 2015 benefits have now caught u with the rest of the typical corporate world and are much more expensive.

    Work/ Life Balance: What is life?

    Parking: No parking deductions, credits, etc... 100.00 per month to park at Nascar (this is the discount) Parking across the street is 80.00.

    Compensation/Titles: Chiquita is very smart in how they pay and title employees. the titles do not fit the actual duties performed. This allows Chiquita to severely underpay the employees by using common job titles and paying employees a little more that the job title pays in the area. Therefore, Chiquita pay seems higher but the prospective employee is not aware of the tremendous workload that they have signed on for. Once hired, you quickly realize that you are doing the work of many and the pay is far below what should be paid. The job title also does not match the duties performed. When you stop and compare what you do at Chiquita with other competitors job descriptions and pay ranges, you quickly realize you are being underpaid.

    Growth and Advancement: Be very afraid if you are great at your job because middle management will limit your growth in order to make them look good. Other opportunities pursued will miraculously disappear.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please monitor middle management!!!!! You are missing amazing workers, talent, and growth potential. You are trusting your subordinates and they have personal goals and objectives. Corporate America is very competitive. Lets be honest, those of you on the 16th floor are not worried about competition below you, as we are no where near your pay bracket. I believe you really want to make the company work. If Chiquita works, you benefit. What you fail to realize is that those beneath you want so desperately to be in your position that promoting true talent and supporting talent is scary for them. There is an obvious stratified environment in your company.
    Chiquita is a perfect example of capitalism. There is an obvious Proletariat and bourgeoisie. Capitalism is a beautiful thing, if people have the true opportunity to work hard and benefit from their work. The current environment at Chiquita supports the theories of those who oppose capitalism because the working class is being used and exploited by the ruling class. As a result, you have unhappy workers who feel used and lack optimism about the future. Hopefully the new owners of the company will value those who work hard for the company and reward them.
    Despite the cons, Chiquita has so much potential and some of the best people. It can be turned around and be great.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
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  5.  

    Quality Assurance Technician

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Quality Assurance Technician
    Former Employee - Quality Assurance Technician

    I worked at Chiquita Brands

    Pros

    The job was very interesting and it was great learning more about how corporate labs work. Good health insurance.

    Cons

    Communication between departments was lacking. Upper management looks down upon hourly workers. There are no set hours for shifts which made it impossible to have life outside of work. No employee recognition and sub par pay.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    IT CO-OP intern

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Intern - IT Co-op Intern in Charlotte, NC
    Former Intern - IT Co-op Intern in Charlotte, NC

    I worked at Chiquita Brands as an intern (less than a year)

    Pros

    Relaxed work environment. Beautiful building. Most people are very friendly and cooperative. End of semester presentation in front of high level management is great practice in public speaking.

    Cons

    Way below average pay. The rotational IT co-op program sometimes puts you in groups where there is no work to be done. Other groups will work you non-stop. This is a better internship for SIS than CS majors.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Have the interns present the work they are doing on a weekly basis.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Great diversity and growth opportunities!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Chiquita Brands (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Diverse culture, always innovating and in the cutting edge of produce.

    Cons

    Work-Life balance is a struggle. Senior Management struggles to recognize improvements.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Need to go back to the family environment of the past. Stop and recognize milestones and improvements.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Big decisions have lasting effects

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Demand Planning/Network Planning in Salinas, CA
    Former Employee - Demand Planning/Network Planning in Salinas, CA

    I worked at Chiquita Brands full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great co-workers and managers, emphasis on personal growth, reasonable travel schedule, cross functional training, competitive salaries and good promotion program. Puts money into certain technologies

    Cons

    Some senior management blunders over the past 10 years have hurt company growth. Supposed opportunities when moving the headquarters to another city did not always materialize.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Come up with winning strategies and not just copy cat strategies that spur growth instead of constant cost cutting

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    Great place to learn the produce business.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cincinnati, OH
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cincinnati, OH

    I worked at Chiquita Brands full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great people, iconic brand name.

    Cons

    Changing management, shifting objectives, unclear growth strategy.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Involve employees early in the process when significant strategic changes will be made so customer service does not suffer.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Overall a good experience however I think that in order for it to be you must be committed, optimistic and patient.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous in Charlotte, NC
    Current Employee - Anonymous in Charlotte, NC

    I have been working at Chiquita Brands full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    The company has good benefits. There are opportunities for advancement however you must seek them out and work all angles.

    Cons

    The air of uncertainty due to changes the company is going through has affected office moral, employee turnover, and confidence in the company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get out there, talk to your employees not just by email statements. Take some time and come down from your pedestal and approach your employees, see the office and employees and experience what goes on. It's been said we are the company, well experience the company and not from within your glassed office.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    In salads, Mid to Sr. level management is the problem; the ones making the bad day to day decisions.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Charlotte, NC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Charlotte, NC

    I worked at Chiquita Brands full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great employees, benefits are cheaper than a lot of comparable companies. If you're willing to work, the opportunity is there. Pay was comparable for me, but I know other reviews say differently.

    Cons

    The executive team has a good plan, but that plan falls on deaf ears of VP and Sr. Managers who are supposed to carry out those plans. I think everyone wants to get to the same goal, but a small handful of director level from the previous Fresh Express days think their way is the best way.

    On the salad side, the company is customer focused, to a fault. There are Sr. Managers and VP level with sales backgrounds trying to be operational leaders, without operational experience. The company continues to lose money based on the "do anything to sell 1 case" model. Just tell some customers the truth with a "No, we can't service you". Instead, big promises are made to customers and Fresh Express/Chiquita loses money all in the name of service. Several departments communicate and call out these risks, but at the end of the same director level up make operational calls, based on their past sales experience.

    Collaboration is great among team members and manager level. Well thought out decisions are made based on weighing out of pros/cons by entire project teams. Unfortunately, even some unanimous decisions are overturned by the same people mentioned above.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take a look at the restructurings that have been done in the last 3-4 years. You know that small handful of director/VP level people that have moved up, then down, then sideways, been retitled, etc. Stop moving them around and changing titles, and instead move them out!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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