ROTTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS — The supervisory board of Louis Dreyfus Commodities has appointed Mayo Schmidt as the company’s chief executive officer, effective Jan. 5. Mr. Schmidt will succeed interim c.e.o. Claude Ehlinger, who will continue in his existing roles of chief financial officer of Louis Dreyfus Commodities and non-executive chairman of the board of Biosev. Mr. Ehlinger also was promoted to the function of deputy c.e.o. of Louis Dreyfus Commodities.
Mr. Schmidt is former president and c.e.o. of Viterra Inc., a Canadian-based global provider of food ingredients to leading food manufacturers worldwide. Prior to Viterra, he spent five years with ConAgra Foods, initially as president of ConAgra Grain in Canada and, more recently, as executive vice-president of domestic and international operations. Prior to this, he held several senior managerial posts at General Mills from 1982 to 1995.
A U.S. and Canadian citizen, he has a bachelor’s of business administration degree from Washburn University and has followed advanced study courses at UCLA, the University of Nebraska and Harvard University.
“I am delighted to welcome Mayo to the Louis Dreyfus Commodities Group,” said Margarita Louis-Dreyfus, chairperson of Louis Dreyfus Holding. “His broad and global experience in the food industry, combined with his leadership skills, entrepreneurial attitude, strong business ethics and team-oriented mindset make him the best person for the job. This is an important step in the transition project we launched in June 2013, to further reinforce our management structure and governance model. I would also like to express my deepest gratitude to Claude for his great service as interim c.e.o. over the past months, in addition to his existing c.f.o. role, and for his outstanding commitment and performance.”
Mr. Schmidt called it “a great honor” to join the company, which he said has become “a synonym for excellence in the global agribusiness industry.”“I would like to thank the supervisory board and Margarita Louis-Dreyfus personally for the trust they show in selecting me as chief executive,” Mr. Schmidt said. “I have the greatest respect for the company’s exceptional know-how, talented employees and senior management team and count on their support as we collectively drive the company’s success moving forward.”