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Cargill Restructures Management Team

Cargill has announced changes to its senior leadership structure that will go into effect December 1, representing its most wide-sweeping restructuring of its senior leadership in approximately 15 years. In a move to streamline its leadership structure and increase the speed of decision making, the company is eliminating its current two-tier management teams consisting of nearly 30 people, replacing them with a single 10-person team, led by chief executive, David MacLennan.

The restructuring will not entail any layoffs for the privately-held corporation according to Cargill spokesman Mark Klein, but it will remove the Cargill Leadership Team, which consists of four to five of the group’s highest-ranking executives and its CEO, and its second-tier leadership team, which consists of approximately two dozen executives.

The new leadership team will consist of the CEO and the heads of the group’s five major business group and the four operational units – human resources, business services, business operations, and supply chain.

Two executives on the existing leadership team who helped plan the new leadership structure, Paul Conway and Emery Koenig, announced they will be retiring in the near future, while two additional existing executives, meat and salt business leader, Todd Hall, and chief financial officer, Marcel Smits will be member of the new 10-member leadership team. The remaining seven member of the new team will be pulled from the existing second executive leadership team, while those who are not appointed to the new team will retain their current positions.

Although the new leadership structure appears to resemble a publicly traded company, the Star Tribune reports that, according to Mark Klein, the firm has no plans to go public.

The new leadership team, including chief executive, David MacLennan, Smits, and Hall, will also include, G.J. Van den Akker, grain origination and trading, Fran van Lierde, food ingredients, Joe Stone, animal feed, David Dines, energy, ocean transportation, metals trading, and risk management services, LeighAnn Baker, human resources, Kathy Fortmann, business services, and Ruth Kimmelshue, business operations and supply chain.

This new team will be assuming the reins during a volatile time for the company. Cargill’s net earnings were down 13% in its most recent full fiscal year from the year before with chief executive, MacLennan admitting the company did not reach its own goals, along with unremarkable performance in its first fiscal quarter with profits of $512 million.

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