CHICAGO — Archer Daniels Midland Co. has made five management appointments in its corn business unit, an effort designed to drive further improvements in returns and accelerate the company’s growth strategy.

Craig Willis, a 23-year company veteran, has been named president of ethanol. He had been a vice-president of the business since 2011. Prior to joining the ethanol group in 2007, his broad-based ADM tenure included experience as commercial manager of three large oilseeds crush plants. He also managed origination and transportation assets within the company’s agricultural services business unit.

Kris Lutt has been named president of sweeteners and starches. Mr. Lutt most recently was president of ADM’s Golden Peanut and Tree Nuts subsidiary, where he oversaw the expansion of the business’ geographic footprint into South Africa and grew its product offerings through the acquisition of the Harrell Nut Co. He previously was president of ADM’s milling business and was vice-president of corn processing.

“Both Craig and Kris have been aggressive in pursuing strategic growth opportunities for their businesses — Kris through strategic acquisitions and Craig through his active support of the Prime the Pump Fund, which aims to increase adoption of E15, or gasoline containing 15% ethanol,” said Christopher Cuddy, president of the Corn business unit. “Their entrepreneurial approach and broad-based experience will help us create greater value in two key Corn businesses.”

Gary Towne will continue as president of risk management for the corn business unit.

Luther Pohlmann has been named vice-president of corn operations. Mr. Pohlmann’s success managing some of the company’s largest corn processing plants will enable him to continue driving adoption of best practices designed to reduce costs and enhance operational efficiency. He also has been involved in the company’s plans to expand operations into new geographic regions. He succeeds Randy Kampfe, who will retire March 31 following 40 years of service.

Andy Moore, who joined ADM in 1998, has been named vice-president of sweeteners and starches. In his most recent position as director of sales for the business, Mr. Moore played a key role in ADM’s customer-excellence efforts by developing and helping to implement the business’ go-to-market strategy and strengthen its customer relationship management practices. He will continue in his sales role while working with Mr. Lutt to drive overall growth in the business.