Bunge has announced that its CEO, Soren Schroder, will step down from his position as the firm responds to pressure from shareholders to improve performance.
Schroder, who has served as chief executive since 2013, will continue in his current role until a successor is named to secure a smooth leadership transition. Bunge said it has established a search committee to identify its next CEO.
Joining Bunge in 2000, Schroder, 57, has held a variety of agribusiness leadership roles, including CEO of Bunge North America. The company said his tenure has included “a significant strengthening” of its core activities in agribusiness and growth in food and ingredients, notably with the recent acquisition of Loders Croklaan.
It added that he has focused on creating a simpler, more efficient organisation and establishing a series of global partnerships.
“It has been an honour to serve as Bunge’s CEO,” said Schroder. “We are making solid progress, and it is the right time to turn over the leadership reins. The company has a strong legacy and an exciting future ahead.”
Bunge has also announced that Kathleen Hyle, who has served on the firm’s board of directors since 2012, will become chair of the board, effective immediately. L Patrick Lupo, who has served on Bunge’s board since 2006 and in the role of chairman since 2014, will remain a board member. Hyle will serve on the CEO search committee, along with board members Paul Fribourg, J Erik Fyrwald and Mark Zenuk.
Hyle, 60, has served as the head of the audit committee for the Bunge board of directors for the past five years. She has also served as senior vice president of Constellation Energy and COO of Constellation Energy Resources from 2008 until her retirement in 2012, when Constellation completed its merger with Exelon Corp.
“I am very pleased to become chair of Bunge’s board of directors,” said Hyle. “The company is well positioned for long-term growth with the strong foundation that has been established under Soren’s leadership. We have a world-class global position in agribusiness and food and ingredients, and, with our excellent management team, we will continue to strengthen and evolve our business. I want to thank Pat for his tremendous contributions to Bunge over the course of many years and his leadership as board chairman.”
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