Dwayne O. Andreas steps down as chairman of Archer Daniels Midland Co. after 28 years

by Teresa Acklin
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   DECATUR, ILLINOIS, U.S. — Dwayne O. Andreas, the 80-year-old chairman of Archer Daniels Midland Co., is stepping down after 28 years at the helm of one of the largest agribusiness companies in the world.

   Mr. Andreas will continue as chairman emeritus and will remain a member of the board. He will be succeeded as chairman by his nephew, G. Allen Andreas, who also will continue as chief executive officer.

   Dwayne Andreas is credited with turning what was once a regional processor of grain into one of the world's largest grain and soybean processors. He joined A.D.M. in 1966 and was elected chairman and c.e.o. in 1970 at a time when ADM owned 40 processing plants and employed less than 3,000 people. The company now owns 274 processing plants, producing everything from flour to soybean oil to cocoa powder; employs 23,000 people worldwide; and had net sales of more than U.S.$16 billion in 1998. ADM alone processes grain and oilseeds to feed 250 million people a day.

   Considered one of the country's leading spokesmen for American agriculture, Mr. Andreas met with every American President since Harry Truman. He was a strong advocate of a closer U.S.-Soviet Union relationship during the Cold War.

   As chairman of the U.S.-U.S.S.R. Trade and Economic Council, Mr. Andreas befriended Mikhail Gorbachev when the latter was Minister of Agriculture of the Soviet Union and maintained a close friendship with Mr. Gorbachev after he became president of the Soviet Union.

   Allen Andreas, 55, joined ADM in 1973 and has served as treasurer; vice-president, Europe; and special counsel to the executive committee.

   In recent years, his role at ADM began to change as Dwayne Andreas' son and heir-apparent, Michael D. Andreas, 50, was being investigated in a price-fixing scandal that in September culminated in a guilty verdict.