USA– Agribusiness giant Cargill has named Brian Sikes to lead its global protein and salt businesses after as he also joins the Executive Board of the company.

Sikes, a 36-year veteran of Cargill 199, will succeed Todd Hall, who has retired.

Sikes most recently led the transformation of the North American protein business, which has delivered strong financial results and expanded offerings in line with shifting consumer demand for value-added protein, sustainable supply chains and  alternative proteins.

“Cargill Protein and Salt has experienced strong growth for many years, and Todd has led some of Cargill’s largest and most successful acquisitions,” said David MacLennan, Cargill chairman and chief executive officer.

“We are confident Brian is the right leader to build on that success, and he has demonstrated an authentic leadership style, customer-first focus and an ability to drive change in his role as president of North American protein. Brian has also created inclusive and diverse teams, which is a top priority for Cargill.”

Cargill is one of the largest meat industry players around the world, investing in the meat and poultry value chain in the Americas, Asia and Europe over the years.

It has also invested extensively in its animal nutrition business in Brazil, Indonesia, UK, Thailand, Philippines, Colombia and South Africa among other countries.

He takes over the helm at a point the meat industry is grappling with new developments in the cell-cultured and plant-based meat products alternatives.

Sikes previously led the development of Cargill’s new North American protein headquarters in Wichita, Kansas, USA, which is hosting a grand opening Dec. 6, 2018.

Under Sikes’ direction, the headquarters is designed to attract new and diverse talent to the company and strengthen collaboration between customers and Cargill’s Food Innovation Center and culinary chefs, also based in Wichita.

Sikes will officially join the company’s executive team in early 2019, says Cargill.

Cargill’s protein and salt businesses have more than 60,000 employees in 16 countries with operations in North America, Latin America, China and Southeast Asia.