Louis Dreyfus picks ex-Viterra head as new CEO

Fri Nov 28, 2014 3:53am EST
 
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PARIS Nov 28 (Reuters) - Louis Dreyfus Commodities on Friday named Mayo Schmidt, the former head of Canadian grain handler Viterra, as its chief executive in the latest stage of a corporate shakeup at the global trading firm.

Louis Dreyfus, one of a quartet of companies that dominate agricultural commodity trading alongside Archer Daniels Midland , Bunge and Cargill, is trying to sustain growth in a lucrative sector that has seen a spate of consolidation deals.

Schmidt will assume his position on Jan. 5, taking over from interim Chief Executive Officer Claude Ehlinger, who will become deputy CEO in addition to his existing role of finance director, Louis Dreyfus said in a statement.

"This is an important step in the transition project we launched in June 2013, to further reinforce our management structure and governance model," Margarita Louis-Dreyfus, the main shareholder of the family-owned group, said in the statement.

"(Schmidt's) broad and global experience in the food industry, combined with his leadership skills, entrepreneurial attitude, strong business ethics and team-oriented mindset make him the best person for the job," she said.

(Reporting by Gus Trompiz, editing by Andrew Callus)