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Thursday, June 27, 2002


Dahl lands
a job at Dole


By Dave Segal
dsegal@starbulletin.com

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. >> Richard Dahl, the former president of Bank of Hawaii parent Pacific Century Financial Corp., has been named chief financial officer and vice president of Dole Food Co.

The 50-year-old Dahl, who left Pacific Century March 31, began his new position yesterday. He replaces Kenneth Kay, who will leave the company to pursue other interests.

Dahl, who was at Pacific Century for 20 years, had been pursuing four job opportunities, including one in Singapore and three on the mainland, including the Dole position. He was reported to be interested in a job with exposure to the Asia-Pacific region. He was in transit from California to Hawaii today and unavailable for comment.

"We are very pleased that Mr. Dahl is joining the Dole team," Dole Chairman and Chief Executive David Murdock said in a statement. "His solid managerial background, financial expertise, international experience and proven leadership ability will make a strong contribution to the company."

Dahl had been a key member of the management team of Lawrence S. Johnson, who left the posts of chairman and chief executive of Pacific Century in late 2000 in the wake of declining earnings and a poor stock performance. When Johnson in August 2000 announced his intention to retire, Dahl was an in-house candidate to be his successor. However, former Bank of America Vice Chairman Michael O'Neill was chosen and brought in some of his own executives, quickly moving into a plan to cut operations outside Hawaii that had been put in place by the Johnson team.

Dahl then led the effort, now concluded, to divest the company of those assets in California and Arizona, much of the South Pacific and Asia.

"We're not going to be replacing him," O'Neill said when Dahl left in March. "What happened is this bank used to have a very large footprint in a very large network and we've greatly simplified business by focusing principally on Hawaii. As a consequence, a guy of Richard's caliber doesn't have enough of a job here to really challenge him although I tried very hard to keep him. I think he concluded there just wasn't simply enough meat to what I was offering."

Dole, founded in Hawaii in 1851 but now with its corporate headquarters in Westlake Village, Calif., has divested most of its Hawaii production. It grows pineapple on 4,000 acres in Wahiawa.



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