Cargill CEO brings in ‘more streamlined’ strategic management, job cut rumors dismissed

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

'We have not set any target for reductions in our workforce.' Cargill denies job cuts planned [pic:(c)]
'We have not set any target for reductions in our workforce.' Cargill denies job cuts planned [pic:(c)]

Related tags Management Cargill

Minneapolis agribusiness giant, Cargill, says restructuring at the executive level will allow for speedier decision making in the company.

The previous two-tiered executive leadership is being replaced by a group involving the leaders of Cargill’s five major businesses spanning animal nutrition, animal protein, supply chain, food ingredients, and energy, transportation and metals, who will take on strategic direction roles.

The objective is for improved decision-making through a more streamlined team, said a Cargill spokesperson.

No impact on workforce 

Any talk of job cuts in the reshuffle, which were rumored by Reuters last week, was rejected out of hand.

The spokesperson told FeedNavigator: “We have not set any kind of target for reductions in our workforce. As in the normal course of business, we would expect that the overall employee numbers will continue to fluctuate, as they always have. We report our employment numbers quarterly. In the last quarter, our employment numbers rose from 153,000 to 155,000, for example.”

He added that the CEO, Dave MacLennan, now on the job two years, is simply announcing his new team.

Also effective from the start of next month, the risk management business is to become part of Cargill’s energy, transportation and metals group. And trade and structured finance will report to the CFO, said the spokesperson.

When asked if Cargill is planning to divest of any of its assets as part of this restructure, the spokesperson responded: “Any mergers, acquisitions, divestitures or joint ventures would be announced at the appropriate time.”

Meanwhile Cargill said vice chairmen, Paul Conway, and, Emery Koenig, have confirmed their planned retirements from the firm after 36 and 38 years’ service, respectively. "Both have been active in the discussions around the composition of the new executive team and are strong supporters of the direction,”​ said the company.

Strategic moves

Cargill has been restructuring in other ways in the past year, moving into new feed sectors and offloading operations.

In October, it confirmed the finalization of the deal to acquire Norway-based salmon feed company EWOS for about $1.5b from Altor Fund and Bain Capital Europe. There is talk the company may move into farming fish itself as well down the road. 

And July saw Cargill sell its US pork business to JBS for $1.45 bn. That deal included the sale of two Midwest meat processing plants, five feed mills and four hog farms.

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