Rice Leaves “Paradise”

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There was a rumor earlier this morning that one of PNG’s most popular CEO’s James Rice had resigned. Followers on Rice’s social media accounts were caught by surprise and social networks went into a bit of a frenzy with many asking whether the news was true and if so why.

Rice, confirmed later in the afternoon through a LinkedIn posting that “Sadly, the news is true.”

Rice gained a huge following on LinkedIn, one of his “go to” platforms, amassing a staggering 17,000+ followers. Not many CEOs in the country gain that much audience on their social media.

The CEO of Paradise Foods was different.

Rice travelled to 16 Provinces and was never shy to promote the places he visited on social media.

Perhaps one of his most admired attributes was his passion for localizing not just the jobs in the company but also the sources of ingredients the company used in its products.

Rice had this to say, when confirming the sad news.

James Rice LinkedIn

Sadly, the news is true. I am stuck between a country I love, a job I love, and a family I miss. I will be stepping down from my role as Group CEO of Paradise Company Ltd. so that I can return to the US. I

have been separated from my family since the beginning of the pandemic, and that probably has another year to go. I have loved every minute spent in PNG, and everyone that I have encountered. Wherever I have gone, I have been greeted by friendly people and lots of smiles. 

Leading Paradise Foods Limited and Laga Industries Limited has been an incredible honor. I hope I have changed the game a little and challenged a few CEOs. I will remain involved with the company and continue to work as an advisor to the Board of Directors.

Leaving PNG will be sad for me, but I’m happy not to be losing my connection with the country, the company, and all the friends I have made. And PNG will soon have its biggest advocate ever standing right in the middle of the USA.

Papua New Guineans are too humble to brag about their country, so I am going back to the US to brag about it for you!