WHITE PLAINS, NEW YORK, U.S. — Gregory A. Heckman has been appointed acting chief executive officer of Bunge Ltd., effective immediately. He replaces Soren Schroder, who previously announced his intention to step down.
“Greg has been a valuable addition to our board and Strategic Review Committee and we are pleased to appoint him as our acting CEO,” said Kathleen Hyle, Bunge’s non-executive board chair. “Our committee has benefited from his counsel and expertise. With Greg in this role, we have a greater opportunity to leverage his perspective, deep industry knowledge and leadership experience, as we take action to improve our results and sharpen our operational focus and execution.”
Heckman joined the Bunge board in 2018. He has more than 30 years of experience in the agriculture, energy and food processing industries. Heckman is founding partner of Flatwater Partners, a private investment firm. Previously, he was CEO of The Gavilon Group, LLC, prior to the sale of its agriculture business to Marubeni Corp. and its energy business to NGL Energy Partners.
He led the formation of Gavilon, the successor to ConAgra Trade Group, and oversaw the spin-off of ConAgra Trade Group from ConAgra Foods after a 24-year career at ConAgra Foods. Heckman has a bachelor of science degree in agriculture economics and marketing from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
“I look forward to further collaboration with Kathi, the board and our management team, focusing on ways to improve performance and create shareholder value,” Heckman said. “Bunge is a great company, and our strong foundation and global leadership scale in agribusiness and food and ingredients positions us well for future growth. As a team, we will build on the forward momentum of our strategic review, which is focused on our portfolio, key business drivers and opportunities to enhance shareholder value.”
Bunge’s CEO search committee continues its work and will seek to conclude the search as soon as practicable.
Additionally, as part of Bunge’s ongoing board refreshment process, the company announced that L. Patrick Lupo, Ernest Bachrach and Enrique Boilini, three of its longest-serving board members, will not stand for re-election at the company’s 2019 annual general meeting of shareholders. Each will remain on the board until his current term expires, in May 2019.
“On behalf of the board and the company, I want to thank Soren for his leadership of Bunge during this period, and to thank Pat, Ernest and Enrique for their many years of dedicated service as directors,” Hyle said.