More new chiefs: Cargill, ADM, McCormick, IBC


Feb 28, 2007

Last month we reported an unusually large number of new execs at food companies. The trend continued into late January and February, including new chairman for two multi-billion-dollar agribusinesses.

With Chairman/CEO Warren Staley set to retire June 1 after reaching age 65, Cargill Inc., Wayzata, Minn., said he will be succeeded by Gregory Page, 55, who has been president and chief operating officer since 2000.

The privately held company said Staley will remain chairman until its annual meeting on Sept. 11, at which time Page also will get that title. Page joined Cargill in 1974 as a trainee, ran the company's Asian animal nutrition operations in Singapore 1985-1992 and then headed North American and Australian beef and pork operations. Staley joined the company in 1969, became president in 1998, CEO in 1999 and chairman in 2000.

After nearly four decades with an Andreas at or near the top, Archer Daniels Midland Co., Decatur, Ill., promoted Patricia Woertz, its president/CEO since last April, to chairman. She replaces G. Allen Andreas, who resigned, saying, “Our leadership transition has progressed very successfully and faster than anticipated.” Woertz spent 30 years in the oil industry, most recently as executive vice president of Chevron.

Meanwhile, bankrupt Interstate Bakeries Corp., Kansas City, Mo., named a former PepsiCo executive as its new CEO. Craig Jung spent 11 years at the beverage company in a variety of senior executive assignments.

“I believe in this company and its potential,” said Jung, 53. “We have iconic brands, loyal customers and a workforce that wants to succeed. And, I believe we can.”

He named four priorities for IBC: fix the cost structure to grow margins; accelerate innovation to realize attractive revenue growth; drive productivity to improve margins; and create a performance culture.
Jung replaces Tony Alvarez II, co-founder and co-CEO of Alvarez & Marsal, a corporate advisory and turnaround management services firm, who has headed IBC since the company filed Chapter 11 in September 2004.

Earlier, McCormick & Co., Sparks, Md., promoted Alan Wilson to president/COO. Robert Lawless relinquished the title of president but remains CEO and chairman.