Leading US ingredient firm Cargill has announced the appointment of a new chief executive officer, a move that comes in the same week as a leadership reshuffle in competitor ADM.
Effective June 1 2007, Cargill's chairman and CEO Warren Staley will be succeeded by Gregory Page. Page will take on the role of CEO and president of the leading agricultural firm.
Page has held his current position as Cargill president and chief operating officer since June 2000. He was elected to the Cargill board of directors in August 2000.
According to Staley, who has reached the mandatory retirement age of 65 for Cargill executives, his successor's "extensive global travels and leadership experience in and outside of the United States have given him deep insight into all of our businesses."
"He believes strongly in harnessing the knowledge and capabilities of Cargill's diverse businesses to benefit our customers," he said.
Staley will continue to serve as chairman of the Cargill board of directors until its annual meeting on September 11 2007.
Page, who joined the firm in 1974 as a trainee, has held a number of positions in the company's US animal nutrition business before transferring to Singapore in 1985 to lead its animal nutrition operations in Asia.
In 1989, he moved to Thailand to build Cargill's poultry processing business in that country. He returned to the US in 1992, where he assumed leadership of Cargill's North American and Australian beef and pork operations in 1995. In 1998, Page was named corporate vice president and sector president, with responsibilities for the company's financial markets and beef and pork groups. He was elected executive vice president of Cargill in 1999.
In August Cargill reported strong earnings for its fiscal year, although the performance of the firm's food ingredients business lagged the year-ago level.
The company's revenues for the full year rose 6 percent to $75.2bn. Cash flow from operations increased 4 percent to $3.3bn.
However, Cargill said its food ingredients and applications segment lagged the year-ago level, but added that earnings advanced in several of its edible oils, sweeteners, meat and poultry businesses around the world.
The firm has also made significant investments in food ingredients over the past year. These included Degussa's food ingredients operations, which specialize in texturizers and flavor systems for the food and beverage industry; the joint-venture purchase of oil palm plantations in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea; and the purchase of beef processing businesses in the United States and Canada.
Expansions announced or under way included growth in animal nutrition, cocoa processing and oilseed processing.
Although earnings in the 2006 fiscal year were led by Cargill's risk management and financial segment, the company said its origination and processing segment, which comprises its global supply chain in grains, oilseeds, sugar and other agricultural commodities, also saw increased earnings from a year ago. Results in agriculture services also were improved.
Earlier this week, competitor ADM announced the firm's chief executive officer Patricia Woertz is to extend her role to chairman of the firm's board of directors, succeeding G. Allen Andreas, who has resigned.