MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, U.S. — Gert-Jan (G.J.) van den Akker, a former Cargill executive and managing director, will return to the company and become a member of the Cargill Leadership Team, the global executive group in charge of Cargill’s strategic direction and organizational priorities, effective Dec. 1.
“G.J.’s global perspective, background in trading and risk management, and leadership philosophy will play an important role in driving Cargill’s direction and goals,” said David MacLennan, Cargill’s chairman and chief executive officer (CEO).
A Dutch national, van den Akker joined Cargill’s grain and oilseed business in the Netherlands in 1987 as a management trainee. He then took on a number of assignments that led to roles with palm oil byproducts in Kuala Lumpur, domestic grain markets in Tokyo, and corn and soybeans in Geneva. In 1994, he joined Cargill’s Ocean Transportation business, where he went on to serve as the managing director from 2007-11. Under his leadership, the business increased volumes and delivered record earnings. In 2011, he took a senior business leadership role for what is now Cargill Energy, Transportation & Metals, and was also a member of the Cargill Risk Committee. In 2013, he left Cargill to become senior head of Global Regions at Louis Dreyfus, a privately owned food and agriculture company.
With his addition, the Cargill Leadership Team comprises six members: Chairman and CEO David MacLennan; Vice-Chairman Paul Conway; Vice-Chairman and Chief Risk Officer Emery Koenig; Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer Marcel Smits; Senior Vice-President Todd Hall; and van den Akker. In his new role at Cargill, van den Akker will be based in Geneva.