Current Progressive Dairy digital edition

New Hire Andrei Mikhalevsky

PD Staff Published on 09 February 2012


Andrei Mikhalevsky
Visalia, California
President and CEO
California Dairies, Inc.



What education are you bringing with you to this position

I bring more than 35 years of leadership experience in consumer packaged goods companies and in the global marketplace.

My formal education includes a bachelor of business administration (BBA) in finance from Stetson University . I also have attended the food executive program at the University of Southern California .

Please describe your agricultural background.
Previous to joining California Dairies, Inc. (CDI), I spent the last five years at Fonterra Cooperative Group, the world’s largest dairy exporter, serving as the managing director of global ingredients and food services.

In this role, I was responsible for developing and building many of Fonterra’s global partnerships. In addition, I oversaw Fonterra’s research and innovation centers and its branded business in Latin America.

This experience enabled me to develop knowledge of the many global markets and aligning product offerings with current trends and consumer insights.


What are your new responsibilities?
My new responsibilities include setting the strategic direction and the operational leadership of CDI, the nation’s second-largest dairy processing cooperative with $3 billion in annual revenue.

What territory will you cover?
CDI’s business is centered in the U.S. market with a significant portion of its sales now being distributed throughout the world.

What previous positionshave you held?
My career began in the consumer product goods industry at Campbell Soup Company. I spent 21 years there, working in senior management positions in various departments including sales, finance, international sales and supply chain.

I then moved to Georgia Pacific Corporation, where I spent seven years and rose to the position of president of North American retail business, leading North American’s largest retail consumer paper business.

My career then led me to Symrise, a top four international flavors and fragrance producer. At Symrise, I held the position of global president of flavors, leading the company’s largest division.

What excites you most about working in your new role?
At this point in time, a unique opportunity exists for the U.S. dairy industry to participate in providing nutrition to the world markets.


As populations increase and incomes rise, the U.S. dairy industry and CDI are well positioned to meet these global needs.

Having worked on the international side of the dairy industry, I look forward to focusing on the U.S. market again. CDI’s location, manufacturing base, people and leadership align well with this purpose and opportunity.

How will you be of most helpto producers in your regionor area of expertise?
As CEO of CDI, I will provide a strategic direction to capture opportunities for growth. In addition, I bring knowledge and experience in the area of consumer insights, product portfolio, innovation and global customers.

Why did you choose this company?
CDI is an excellent company with a tremendous track record of success. Built on a strong and progressive foundation, CDI is well positioned to take advantage of dairy nutrition opportunities in the world market.

In addition, CDI’s location on the West Coast provides access to some of the world’s largest growing regions – Asia and Latin America.

What goals would you like to accomplish while in this position?
In order to be successful, our member-owners need to have sustainable operations and receive an above-average return on their investment in the cooperative.

Moving forward, the plan is to strengthen CDI’s current base to improve returns and move into higher-value products. The key goal is to ensure that the member-owners of CDI have a sustainable business model and that CDI is well positioned for the foreseeable future. PD