Little Rock-based Westrock Coffee Co., LLC announced Monday (Jan. 18) that Chris Pledger will become the company’s new Chief Financial Officer, effective immediately.
“Chris Pledger has been an integral part of the Westrock Coffee team from the company’s founding in Rwanda in 2009, first as our outside legal counsel and more recently as a key member of Westrock’s executive team,” said Scott Ford, Chief Executive Officer of Westrock Coffee Co. “He is a strong leader whose broad experience uniquely qualifies him for this new role leading our finance, accounting, and corporate development efforts, while continuing to oversee the expansion of our global trading and export operations.”
Prior to his current role, Pledger served as general counsel and chief development officer of Westrock Coffee Co. since October 2013, and as president of Westrock Coffee International since November 2017. He has over 25 years of experience building and leading teams both as a corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions attorney at Thompson & Knight LLP, Vinson & Elkins LLP, and Kutak Rock LLP, and as a legal, international business, and finance executive at Hunt Oil Co. and, for the past seven years, at Westrock Coffee Co.
Pledger graduated from Centenary College with a bachelor’s degree in economics and earned his juris doctorate from Louisiana State University. He will succeed John Ebner, who retired from the company in October 2020.
“John Ebner worked with me for more than 30 years, including the past year as Chief Financial Officer at Westrock Coffee. He was instrumental in our smooth transition following the S&D Coffee & Tea acquisition. I am grateful to him for his counsel and friendship and wish him well on his next phase of life,” Ford said.
Since Westrock’s acquisition of S&D Coffee & Tea in February 2020, Pledger has served as group president-international, chief legal officer & head of corporate development, with responsibility for the company’s legal, compliance and regulatory affairs, its mergers and acquisition activities, and the expansion of the company’s coffee, tea, and extracts capabilities into Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.