ROTTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS — Louis Dreyfus Commodities announced on June 17 that Serge Schoen has decided to resign as chief executive officer (CEO), effective June 30. Ciro Echesortu, who has been the company’s chief operating officer (COO) and head trader since 2009, has been appointed as the new CEO of Louis Dreyfus Commodities.
After eight years of service within Louis Dreyfus Commodities, Schoen will join the parent company, Louis Dreyfus Holding B.V., in an advisory capacity, and will remain a member of the Supervisory Board of Louis Dreyfus Commodities Holdings, ensuring a smooth transition for his successor.
“Under Serge’s and Ciro’s leadership, our team has brought the company to its leading position in agribusiness globally. I am deeply grateful for Serge’s significant contributions, personal commitment and exemplary performance,” said Margarita Louis-Dreyfus, chairperson of the Louis Dreyfus Group. “Over the last years, the company has seen exceptional growth and outstanding recurring performance. It has more than tripled its turnover, multiplied its net results tenfold and increased its shareholder funds sixfold. Beyond these impressive figures, and perhaps more significantly, over the past eight years we have seen a continued evolution to a diversified multinational business with a strong industrial footprint and presence throughout the value chain. I would like to sincerely thank Serge for his many years of loyal service and extend my best wishes to him for the future.”
“I am proud to have led Louis Dreyfus Commodities during a time of impressive commercial and financial success, and I have the deepest appreciation for our talented people around the world, whose hard work and dedication have made these achievements possible,” said Schoen. “I am confident that the company’s financial strength, global reach, diversified portfolio, talented workforce and longstanding values will provide a solid foundation for continued success under Ciro’s leadership. I have had the honor to work alongside some of the best and brightest in the business, including Ciro, who is the right choice to transition the company into its next exciting phase.”
Mehdi el Glaoui, chairman of Louis Dreyfus Commodities Holdings, said, “Over the last three years, our company has benefitted from the strength and dedication of Margarita Louis-Dreyfus, Serge Schoen and Ciro Echesortu, and we have every confidence that the team of Margarita and Ciro is well positioned to lead the company into its next stage of growth.”
Echesortu joined the Group in 1985 and served as CEO for the South Latin American Region before being appointed COO of Louis Dreyfus Commodities and head of the oilseeds business from 2007-09. He has also held the positions of chairman of the Cereals Exporters Chamber, vice-chairman of the Oilseeds Exporters Chamber (CIARA), and president of the Argentine Committee of the United World Colleges.
“I have complete confidence that Ciro is the right person to be our next leader,” said Margarita Louis-Dreyfus. “His 28 years of service have been marked by outstanding performance, and he has demonstrated remarkable skill at attracting talented individuals. The company is now well positioned to take advantage of future opportunities and to continue its impressive trajectory under Ciro’s leadership, transitioning to a new era as part of the natural cycle of our organization’s development. As someone with deep company history and invaluable business knowledge, Ciro’s appointment is the logical choice that clearly guarantees strong continuity in terms of management and strategy. He now assumes responsibility for moving Louis Dreyfus Commodities into the next exciting phase of growth.”
“It is a great honor to take over the leadership of this company and continue to work with our team of talented people to realize all of our potential,” Echesortu said. “I have faith in the ability and dedication of our people worldwide. They exemplify our strong company values of entrepreneurship and commitment to succeed. Our priorities remain unchanged - diversified growth in scope and geographical coverage and a strong mandate to understand and seize the opportunities within the global marketplace, and generate results. We will also stay true to our strategy of serving customers upstream and downstream while meeting their needs for physical goods and optimizing the matrix of products within our diversified portfolio, always striving for creative solutions.”