Transition set at helm of Louis Dreyfus Commodities

by Josh Sosland
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ROTTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS – Ciro Echesortu, who has served as chief operating officer and head trader of Louis Dreyfus Commodities Group since 2009, has been named chief executive officer of the company, effective June 30. Mr. Echesortu will succeed Serge Schoen, who is resigning.

Having first joined the group in 1985, Mr. Echesortu was c.e.o. of the South Latin American region before he was named c.o.o. and head of the oilseeds business from 2007-09. Additionally, he was chairman of the Cereal Exporters Chamber, vice-chairman of the Oilseeds Exporters Chamber and president of the Argentine Committee of the United World Colleges.

Before coming to Dreyfus, Mr. Echesortu worked at Deloitte Haskins & Sells Argentina and Cresud S.A., based in Argentina. He has a degree in agricultural economics from the University of Guelph, Ontario.

“I have complete confidence that Ciro is the right person to be our next leader,” said Margarita Louis-Dreyfus, chairperson of Louis Dreyfus Group. “His 28 years of service have been marked by outstanding performance, and he has demonstrated remarkable skill at attracting talented individuals. The company is now well positioned to take advantage of future opportunities and to continue its impressive trajectory under Ciro’s leadership, transitioning to a new era as part of the natural cycle of our organization’s development. As someone with deep company history and invaluable business knowledge, Ciro’s appointment is the logical choice that clearly guarantees strong continuity in terms of management and strategy. He now assumes responsibility for moving Louis Dreyfus Commodities into the next exciting phase of growth.”

The company said Mr. Schoen will join Louis Dreyfus Holding B.V., Amsterdam, in an advisory role and will remain on the supervisory board of Louis Dreyfus Commodities, “ensuring a smooth transition for his successor.” Ms. Louis-Dreyfus has high praise for Mr. Schoen.

“I am deeply grateful for Serge’s significant contributions, personal commitment and exemplary performance,” she said. “Over the last years, the company has seen exceptional growth and outstanding recurring performance. It has more than tripled its turnover, multiplied its net results tenfold and increased its shareholder funds sixfold. Beyond these impressive figures, and perhaps more significantly, over the past eight years we have seen a continued evolution to a diversified multinational business with a strong industrial footprint and presence throughout the value chain. I would like to sincerely thank Serge for his many years of loyal service and extend my best wishes to him for the future.”

Louis Dreyfus Commodities had net sales of $57,140 million in 2012 and net income of $1,096 million during the year. The company estimated its share of world commodity trade at 9%, transporting and processing more than 70 million tonnes of commodities last year.

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