Juan Fernando Roche became the new President of Mission Foods January 23. He has 30 years of food industry experience, and brings to the company a rich background in food product management, manufacturing, marketing, and distribution. Mr. Roche will lead Mission Foods’ business strategy and the effort to achieve our long-term growth objectives. He will report directly to Jairo Senise, CEO and President of Gruma Corporation.
Mr. Roche is a native Venezuelan who was living in Florida before moving into his new position. He has worked in many countries including Venezuela, Spain, and the U.S. He began his career working with companies such as Nabisco and Mavesa, a Procter & Gamble joint venture in Venezuela, where he rose to the positions of Chief Financial Officer and Chief Executive Officer, leading the company to significant success.
While with Nabisco, he served as President of the Northern Latin America region, and later as President of that company’s Europe/Middle East/Africa region. Most recently, Mr. Roche operated a consulting firm serving well-known organizations such as MasterCard, Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, and Wyeth Laboratories.
Asked about his first impressions of Mission Foods, Mr. Roche said, "This is a great company, and it has had tremendous success. Its growth is unique in the food industry." He added, "The potential is there to keep growing because it has the right people, the right products, and the right attitude to make it happen."
Mr. Roche’s focus in his first few months on the job has been to understand the needs of the areas that report to him and to give them his full support. With his experience working in a variety of cultures, both geographical and corporate, he offered this observation about the company that he now leads: "Mission has a very unique culture. It combines good things from the Latin culture with good things from the U.S. culture. Commitment is a strong part of that culture. There is a commitment here to make things happen."
Mr. Roche has a business degree from Universidad Catolica Andres Bello in Caracas, Venezuela, and an MBA degree in marketing from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He also held a Harvard Fellowship at the Kennedy School of Government.