Kincannon & Reed Recruits CEO for Highline Mushrooms

October 13, 2022 – Agribusinesses worldwide face a host of challenges as they navigate their complicated mission of feeding the growing world population. This has led to high demand for new leaders among food businesses and agricultural organizations. Executive recruitment firm Kincannon & Reed, which exclusively focuses on food, agribusiness, and the related life sciences, recently placed Jose Cambon as the new CEO of Highline Mushrooms. “Jose is an ambitious, driven leader who enjoys a challenge,” said Janet Wightman, managing partner. “He is a strategic thinker with an impressive track record of building innovative teams that deliver results.”

“Jose brings a high level of production expertise because of his previous experience,” said Phil Osborne, managing partner. “This foundation of knowledge, paired with his leadership capabilities makes Jose an exceptional fit for the CEO role with Highline Mushrooms.”

Mr. Cambon joins the company with more than two decades of experience, with the past 10 years in the mushroom sector in Australia. Prior to joining Highline Mushrooms, he held a series of progressively senior roles with Costa Group over the past decade. Most recently, he was GM of Vertical Farming. Mr. Cambon is a senior executive with extensive experience and a deep understanding of all facets of business (general management, sales, finance, HR, project management, and operations), with a strong commercial acumen and demonstrated success in both turnaround and growth environments.

Reporting to the board of directors, Mr. Cambon is responsible for the overall performance and strategic growth of the company. He will lead performance improvement initiatives throughout the organization and continue the development of high-performing teams within Highline.

With nine farm operations throughout Canada, Highline Mushrooms produces in the range of 100 million pounds of fresh and canned mushrooms each year. The company employs approximately 2,000 across growing facilities and corporate offices.

Experienced Recruiters

Founded in 1981, Kincannon & Reed serves clients throughout the world from locations in the Americas, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. The firm is based in Arlington, VA. Kincannon & Reed’s mission is: “We recruit leaders for organizations that feed the world and keep it healthy.”

Having placed more than 125 executives to date, Ms. Wightman brings expertise in search as well as deep executive experience. Her focus is on agricultural technology and inputs, finance and capital, global agribusiness, private equity organizations, and production and associations. Prior to joining Kincannon & Reed, she was president and CEO of Victoria Park Capital Inc., an investment management firm. Ms. Wightman holds the governance designation awarded by the Institute of Corporate Directors and has served on several private and public company and non-profit boards. Ms. Wightman came to Kincannon & Reed in 2011.

Related: Kincannon & Reed Recruits CEO for California Agricultural Leadership Foundation

With more than 25 years of C-level experience in both public and private businesses, Mr. Osborne works with clients across Kincannon & Reed’s Asia-Pacific region in the FMCG, beverage, food and food ingredients, and agribusiness sectors. His background includes CEO and CFO positions in the FMCG, beverage, food and food ingredients, and agribusiness sectors. Mr. Osborne began his career at the accounting firm of Peat Marwick Mitchell (now KPMG). He then moved into executive positions with Mount Gambier Cooperative Dairy, Southern Egg, Farm Pride Foods, Evans & Tate, and Gourmet Food Holdings before moving into advisory services where he compiled a record of successfully managing turnaround and recovery efforts on behalf of private equity firms.

Recent Search

Kincannon & Reed principals Gary Weihs and David Turner recently placed Paul Fry as CEO of Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative’s (SMBSC). Previously the VP of operations at Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative, Mr. Fry has been in the sugar industry for more than two decades. Other roles held by Fry include chemical engineer, process engineer, and president across a variety of organizations.

“Paul’s significant amount of experience across different functions within the industry give him unmatched knowledge and insight,” said Mr. Turner. “He brings a deep network and a wealth of knowledge to the role with Southern Minnesota that will help the cooperative reach the next level.”

“Paul is known for his ability to create and maintain a positive working environment and collaborative culture,” said Mr. Weihs. “He possesses an innate ability to see the big picture without losing the details. He effectively communicates to any audience level and builds top-tier teams, something SMBSC will benefit greatly from.”

Related: Kincannon & Reed Recruits President for the Institute of Shortening and Edible Oils 

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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