WHITE PLAINS, NEW YORK, U.S. — Bunge Ltd. has made changes to its leadership structure in Agribusiness and its Food & Ingredients business while also naming a new chief financial officer.
The White Plains-based company announced the changes on May 8 while giving results for first quarter ended March 31. Net income of $45 million, or 26¢ per share on the common stock, compared with a loss of $21 million in the previous year’s first quarter. Sales dropped 7% to $9.938 billion from $10.641 billion.
Bunge has appointed John W. Neppl as chief financial officer, effective May 29. He will succeed Thomas M. Boehlert, who will remain for a transition period.
“I have previously worked with John in operating agricultural processing, distribution, trading, food and food ingredients businesses,” said Gregory A. Heckman, chief executive officer of Bunge. “His decades of experience and his successful track record of driving organizational strategy will enable him to make a significant contribution to Bunge’s future and to build on the world-class financial team assembled under Thom’s leadership.”
He added, “Thom has been a great contributor to Bunge, including his spearheading of our successful Global Competitiveness Program.”
The changes in Agribusiness and Food & Ingredients were part of Bunge’s switch to a new global operating model, which aligns with the company’s commercial activities: handling and processing, managing physical product flows, and risk management and optimization.
“Shifting away from our regional matrix-based structure will simplify the organization and speed up decision making, increasing our strategic flexibility, customer focus and accountability,” Heckman said. “These changes support our strategic priorities: driving operational performance, optimizing the portfolio and strengthening financial discipline.”
In Agribusiness, three executives now will work together.
Raul Padilla, who was president, South America and Sugar & Bioenergy, becomes president, Global Operations. He will manage all physical handling and processing assets with a focus on the processing value chains, including milling. He will continue to lead Sugar & Bioenergy.
Christos Dimopoulos, who was president, Agribusiness, becomes president, Global Supply Chains. He will lead the physical commodity supply chains that support Bunge’s handling and processing assets, and he also will be responsible for trade flows, freight and distribution.
Brian Zachman will continue in his role as president, Global Risk Management.
In Bunge’s Food & Ingredients business, Pierre Mauger, who was president, Europe and Asia, will become chief transformation officer, responsible for portfolio optimization and strategy. Aaron Buettner, senior vice-president of Bunge Loders Croklaan, will continue in that role and report directly to Heckman. Todd Bastean, president, North America, and Gordon Hardie, president, Food & Ingredients, both will retire from Bunge after a transition period.
“I want to thank Todd and Gordon for their many contributions and dedication to Bunge,” Heckman said. “We appreciate their support in ensuring a seamless transition for customers and employees.”
Bunge in the first quarter posted EBIT growth in three of its five segments. EBIT was $109 million for Agribusiness, up from $42 million in the previous year’s first quarter, $48 million for Edible Oil Products, up from $28 million, and $1 million for Fertilizer, which compared with a loss of $2 million before interest and taxes in the previous year’s first quarter. Milling Products posted EBIT of $17 million, the same amount as in the previous year’s first quarter. Losses before interest and taxes was $24 million for Sugar & Bioenergy, which was the same figure as seen in the previous year’s first quarter.