Cargill shakes up leadership team to address growing markets, customer needs

By Aerin Einstein-Curtis contact

- Last updated on GMT

Cargill is seeing movement among members of its leadership team, as part of ongoing plans to address high potential markets, operational integration and fiscal discipline.

The Minnesota-based agri-giant announced the impending changes and additions to its leadership team Tuesday [October 30]. The decision is part of an effort to “align” ​company leadership and strategy.

“Cargill has come a long way in the past three years, undertaking significant changes in the way we work that have invigorated our team and generated greater profits for reinvestment,”​ the company told FeedNavigator. The staffing changes are part of the process of continuing to change the company to reflect customer needs.

“This includes positioning us to grow and invest in the highest-potential markets, including accelerating our efforts in Asia Pacific,” ​the company said. “The changes we make today will translate directly to a future-ready Cargill.”

Staffing changes

As part of the revamping process David Dines is set to be named chief financial officer (CFO) starting December 1, the company reported. He will be a member of Cargill’s executive team.

Dines has a background in work with global trading businesses, and has been a part of developing and expanding Cargill’s risk management business, Cargill said.

Also on December 1, Marcel Smits, Cargill’s current CFO, will move to a new position within the company and take over the lead for Cargill Asia Pacific.

“Smits will fulfill a new role as head of corporate strategy for Cargill overall and then will become chairman of Cargill Asia Pacific,” ​the company added. “He will remain on Cargill’s executive team.”

The current head of Cargill Asia Pacific, Peter Van Deursen, is set to move into a leadership position for Cargill’s global starches and sweeteners business, the company said.

The company added that it is not sharing additional information regarding its areas of focus for future growth in Asia Pacific at this time.

However, since January, the company has opened a Technology Application Center (TAC​) dedicated to shrimp aquaculture in Vietnam, an aquaculture-focused TAC​ in Indonesia, a shrimp feed mill ​in India and a swine and poultry feed mill​ in Vietnam.

“We are looking to accelerate investments in Asia Pacific as it is a market of highest potential for Cargill,”​ the company said. “[Smits] will be working to build Cargill’s capabilities and businesses regionally and locally.”

Anna Richo is set to start with the company in January as general counsel, corporate secretary and chief compliance officer, the company said. She is stepping into a position left by Laura Witte, who retired in May after a 33-year stint with Cargill.

Richo also will be a member of the executive team.

Previously, she was the executive vice president and general counsel at the Belgium-based biopharmaceutical company UCB. She brings a background working within areas including science-based innovation and intellectual property.  

Other industry leadership changes

Cargill is not the only company announcing changes to its leadership structure. Bunge Limited also said Tuesday that it was naming a new president of its agribusiness segment.

The New York-based company named Christos Dimopoulos to that position, following the announcement in August of Brian Thomsen’s retirement​. Dimopoulos is set to step into the position immediately.  

He joined Bunge in 2004 and previously served as the senior vice president for global grains and oilseeds, according to company information. He also has worked in the US and Europe with both Intrade Risk Management and Tradigrain.

The company’s footprint and efforts in the agribusiness sector are “the core” ​of Bunge’s portfolio, said Soren Schroder, Bunge CEO. Looking forward efforts in that area are set to include improving the company’s global footprint and increasing its capabilities in capacity management, origination and destination marketing as it continues to work with global crush.



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