Bunge has appointed Gregory Heckman as its acting CEO, effective immediately, replacing Soren Schroder, who announced his decision to step down last month.
Heckman, 56, joined the Bunge board in 2018 and has over 30 years of experience in the agriculture, energy and food processing industries, having served as CEO of The Gavilon Group and in senior executive roles at Conagra Foods.
Bunge said its CEO search committee will seek to conclude the search for a new chief as soon as practicable.
Bunge non-executive board chair Kathleen Hyle said: “Greg has been a valuable addition to our board and strategic review committee and we are pleased to appoint him as our acting CEO. Our committee has benefited from his counsel and expertise. With Greg in this role, we have a greater opportunity to leverage his perspective, deep industry knowledge and leadership experience, as we take action to improve our results and sharpen our operational focus and execution.”
She added: “On behalf of the board and the company, I want to thank Soren for his leadership of Bunge during this period, and to thank Pat, Ernest and Enrique for their many years of dedicated service as directors.”
Gregory Heckman said: “I look forward to further collaboration with Kathi, the board and our management team, focusing on ways to improve performance and create shareholder value.
“Bunge is a great company, and our strong foundation and global leadership scale in agribusiness and food and ingredients positions us well for future growth. As a team, we will build on the forward momentum of our strategic review, which is focused on our portfolio, key business drivers and opportunities to enhance shareholder value.”
The announcement comes as the grain trader said it expects its full-year 2018 EBIT to be below $1.05 billion, which had been the low end of the company’s targeted range.
For full-year 2018, Bunge estimates an adjusted EBIT shortfall of between approximately $90 million and $100 million in the agribusiness segment and a shortfall of between $60 million and $70 million in its sugar and bioenergy segment.
Bunge said the agribusiness shortfall was largely due to the reduction in value of the company’s Brazilian soybean ownership as factors related to China trade and demand caused Brazilian prices to converge with US prices.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019