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Retired Del Monte Executive in Line for Top USDA Post

January 15, 1988

WASHINGTON (AP) _ A newly retired California food executive is a top candidatate for the No. 3 job in the Agriculture Department, according to administration and industry sources.

Fernando R. Gumucio until Dec. 31 headed operations of Del Monte-USA in San Francisco, part of Nabisco Brands Inc., which in turn is a wholly owned subsidiary of RJR Nabisco of Atanta.

The sources, who spoke only on condition of anonymity, said Thursday that Gumucio is a prime candidate to succeed Daniel G. Amstutz as undersecretary for international affairs and commodity programs. The post is generally recognized as the third-ranking job in the department.

David R. Lane, director of USDA’s office of information, said he had not heard Gumucio was in the running for the post and had no comment.

Amstutz left the USDA job last Aug. 1 after more than four years. He is now a special envoy for agricultural trade and development in the State Department.

When Amstutz left, there was some speculation he would be succeeded by his deputy, Richard W. Goldberg, who has been acting undersecretary since Amstutz left. But then it appeared that Thomas O. Kay, administrator of the Foreign Agricultural Services - one of the agencies overseen by Amstutz - was favored.

One of the sources, however, said Kay withdrew this week after running into some opposition in the White House clearance process.

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