“I am extremely honored and proud to have served as Ingredion’s CEO for the past eight and a half years,” Gordon said. “It truly has been the highlight of my career and I have enjoyed every moment of it. We have successfully transformed the business, taking it from a 20th century supplier to a 21st century innovator. I believe Ingredion is well positioned for the future, and I appreciate the dedication and contributions of the board, leadership team and employees to our success.”
Gordon spoke about bringing in strong leadership to help the company’s continued growth after she stepped down.
“Over the years the board and I have focused on attracting and retaining top-tier talent and succession planning,” she said. “After working with Jim for more than seven years, the board and I are confident that he is absolutely the right choice to lead the company going forward. During his tenure, Jim has been vital to the successful execution of our Strategic Blueprint for Growth. He has been responsible for all four of our business regions as well as the global specialty portfolio that has grown to 26% of Ingredion revenue under his leadership.
“Jim is the architect of Ingredion Idea Labs(TM), a global network of innovation centers that foster customer collaboration and drive innovation and growth. He led the integration of several key acquisitions, including Penford Foods, Kerr Concentrates and TIC Gums. He has the vision and experience, as well as the leadership and technical capabilities to navigate Ingredion's long-term strategy and continue to create shareholder value.”
Zallie, currently executive vice-president of global specialties and president, Americas, joined Ingredion in 2010 when the company acquired National Starch LLC, a $1.2 billion (revenue) leader in specialty starches. Prior to his current role, Zallie was responsible for Ingredion’s operations in the Asia Pacific and Europe, Middle East and Africa regions, along with corporate-wide responsibility for global innovation and operational excellence.
“I am honored by the board’s confidence, and I am excited to carry forward Ingredion’s growth strategy with the support of our 11,000 employees worldwide,” Zallie said. “I appreciate Ilene’s support and counsel over the years. She has been an insightful adviser, fearless leader and champion of Ingredion’s values and mission.”
Prior to Ingredion, Zallie was president and CEO of National Starch, where he developed and executed a comprehensive strategy focused on asset productivity, people capability and development, innovation and core renovation and emerging-markets growth. During his four-year tenure, compound annual sales grew by double digits.
Gregory B. Kenny, Ingredion’s independent lead director, affirmed Gordon’s confidence in Zallie.
“With over 30 years of industry experience, Jim is well prepared to lead Ingredion,” Kenny said. “He is an outstanding executive who steered National Starch through several ownership transitions, and he was a key player in the integration of National Starch into Ingredion (then Corn Products International). Jim’s entire leadership team from National Starch stayed with Corn Products after the October 2010 acquisition, which is a testimony to his ability to attract, develop and retain outstanding talent. With his unique combination of leadership skills, business acumen and technical expertise, we could not have selected a better candidate.”
Zallie received a bachelor of science degree in food science at Pennsylvania State University, and both a master of science degree in food science and technology and an MBA degree in finance at Rutgers University. He is a director of Innophos Holdings, Inc., an international producer of specialty phosphate ingredients, and on the board of Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital.
“On behalf of the entire Ingredion board, I am extremely grateful to Ilene for her service,” Kenny said. “She had the vision and leadership to transform the company, focusing on changing food trends to fuel sustained growth, while building a diverse leadership team with exceptional talent. Ingredion’s share price has more than quadrupled under Ilene’s leadership, as she focused on operating excellence, continuous improvement, organic growth, and geographic and portfolio expansion. And she implemented a world-class safety program that has enhanced the well-being of employees and contractors alike. We look forward to working with her as executive chairman.”