Were Two Tropicana Execs Squeezed Out?

Tropicana Products President Robert Soran, who took the company to the No. 1 spot in orange juice sales, has left the company. Seagram, which bought Tropicana in 1988 for $1.2 billion, said it "accepted the resignations" of Soran and George Zulanas, executive vice-president for finance and procurement.

Sources close to the company say the two appear to have been pushed out, but the reasons are unclear. Several executives noted that Tropicana management grossly underestimated the size of the nation's orange crop, as did other processors. Worse, suggests a source close to the company, Soran and Zulanas were slow to tell the head office of looming problems. Soran couldn't be reached for comment, and Zulanas declined comment. William Pietersen, president of Seagram's beverage group, will take over as Tropicana's acting president.