Viterra is formalizing its global structure around its three global business lines including grain, agri-products and processing to capitalize and drive value through its integrated worldwide pipeline. The following executives will lead these lines of business and the organization changes are effective immediately:
Fran Malecha remains chief operating officer - grain. Malecha is responsible for Viterra's global grain and oilseed businesses, and fully accountable for all aspects of the commodity value chain including origination, in-country and port terminal operations, merchandising, logistics and commodity trading globally. In addition, Malecha is charged with executing internal and external growth initiatives that expand Viterra's international grains and oilseeds position to drive additional value from the company's multiple point origination networks. Under Malecha’s leadership, his division has achieved record operating profits and has expanded Viterra's reach in multiple global markets. Malecha has over 25 years experience with a distinguished record in domestic and international trade.
Doug Wonnacott is appointed chief operating officer - agri-products groups. Wonnacott is responsible for the growth, expansion and diversification of Viterra's global agri-products portfolio, which includes research and development, seed, crop protection products, fertilizer, equipment and wool and will be charged with the continued growth of this segment. Under Wonnacott's leadership the agri-products group has grown its retail market share in Western Canada organically and through acquisition, established a retail presence in Australia, improved its R&D pipeline of seed genetics, launched the Viterra branded seed, crop protection products and equipment, integrated Agricore, Westco and Financial Products, and is a key driver of our strong focus on safety. Wonnacott has 30 years of international experience in the chemicals industry.
Karl Gerrand is appointed chief operating officer - processing. Gerrand is responsible for all of Viterra's processing operations globally including wheat and oat milling, malt, pasta, oilseed crushing and feed manufacturing and will be focused on aligning business excellence programs throughout Viterra's value-added processing assets to capitalize on the Company's commodity origination and procurement expertise. Gerrand with 23 years of experience has led many of Viterra's manufacturing businesses to record results, entered new markets, has built a global franchise in oat milling and manufacturing.
Rob Gordon remains president, SE Asia and will report directly to the president and chief executive officer, Mayo Schmidt. Gordon has achieved record performance of the Australian business, successfully managed the largest harvest on record in South Australia, strengthened the operational performance and leadership teams in Australia and New Zealand, while delivering the synergies well ahead of target in the midst of a record harvest. Gordon leads the next stage of Viterra's development to accelerate our growth initiatives in the South East Asian marketplace.
Schmidt said, "This leadership team is sharply focused on identifying opportunities to diversify and grow our earnings base and the value that we generate from our interdependent and integrated pipeline. We seek to balance the contributions from each segment to drive increased returns, while reducing the overall earnings risk within the portfolio. Over the past several months, we as a management team have been challenging ourselves to enhance our model of operational excellence based on our long-standing principles of efficiency, integration, expanding our interests, and value creation for our shareholders. These changes support those principles and will allow Viterra to harvest the internal efficiencies enjoyed by a global organization that operates across various business lines."
Viterra operates on four continents, markets to over 50 countries, with over 6,000 employees. Viterra believes that a strong, functionally aligned organizational structure is a key foundation to business excellence. As the company continues to grow, it will be implementing a new global operating model to strengthen and support its strategic vision now and in the future.
Steven Berger is appointed senior vice-president, corporate services and will lead a consolidated global services unit that includes human resources, transformation, employee communications, real estate, facilities procurement, engineering, and corporate security. Berger has over 25 years of experience leading major change across global enterprises, including the very successful integrations into Viterra of AgricoreUnited in 2007 and ABB Grain in 2009. He is also responsible for the development of Viterra's M&A Playbook which is the main tool Viterra uses to manage transformation, from small change through large acquisitions.
Jim Bell remains senior vice-president, general counsel and corporate secretary. Bell will lead a global legal affairs team and will assume responsibility for Viterra's sustainability and corporate social responsibility efforts. At previous employers in global energy, Bell with 26 years of experience held senior legal leadership roles related to international operations and M&A transactions. He has an LLM from Harvard Law School where he studied international business law.
Mike Brooks remains senior vice-president IT and chief information officer. Brooks will continue to lead our information technology group focusing on building our global technology infrastructure to pro-actively support the growth of Viterra.
Colleen Vancha, senior vice-president, investor relations & corporate affairs will retire Sept.15, after almost 25 years with the company. Rex McLennan, chief financial officer, will take on the additional responsibility for investor relations and external communications and has begun an external search to identify a vice-president to lead these additional responsibilities for the global organization.