MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, U.S. — Sean Leighton, a leader in food safety and quality at Cargill since 2017, will become global vice-president of Food Safety, Quality and Regulatory (FSQR) on Aug. 1. He will take over for the retiring Mike Robach, who will stay involved with the Global Food Safety Initiative as chairman of the board through 2020.
Leighton began his career with The Pillsbury Co. and then had quality assurance and microbiology roles with Land O’Lakes Dairy. He then held food safety roles, including an assignment in Vienna, at the Coca-Cola Co. He was vice-president of quality assurance, safety and environmental sustainability at Coca-Cola before joining Cargill.
Leighton received a bachelor’s degree in bacteriology from the University of Wisconsin, a master’s degree in food science and nutrition from the University of Minnesota, and a master’s of business administration from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School in Atlanta.
Robach joined Cargill in 2004 to lead the corporate food safety and regulatory affairs programs. The department’s scope then expanded to include animal health and quality assurance. Mr. Robach is involved in more than a dozen industry organizations. He has worked with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on food safety policy, Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), and regulatory reform based on science.