USA – Agriculture, food and ingredients giant, Bunge Ltd has announced that its Chief Executive Officer Soren Schroder will step down and has commissioned a searching process for the new CEO.

The company said Schroder will continue in his current role until a successor is named.

Aged 57, the outgoing CEO joined Bunge in 2000 andhas held a variety of agribusiness leadership roles, including CEO of Bunge North America.

Under his leadership, he steered the company’s agribusiness and growth in food ingredients with a focus on creating a simpler, more efficient organization.

It was during his time that Bunge acquired a 70% ownership stake in in IOI Loders Croklaan, significantly accelerating its growth in value-added oils business.

Addition of Loders, an established leader in the growing US$33 billion semi-specialty and specialty B2B oils market to its range of businesses further reinforced commitment to sustainable ventures.

His tenure has included a significant strengthening of Bunge’s core activities in agribusiness and growth in food and ingredients,notably with the recent acquisition of Loders Croklaan.

Mr. Schroder has focused on creating a simpler, more efficient organization, establishing a series of global partnerships, building a first-class team and increasing Bunge’s focus on customers.

“It has been an honor to serve as Bunge’s CEO,” said Soren Schroder.

“We are making solid progress, and it is the right time to turn over the leadership reins. The company has a strong legacy and an exciting future ahead.”

Meanwhile, the company has appointed Kathleen Hyle, who has served on Bunge’s Board of Directors since 2012, as Chair of the Board,effective immediately while L. Patrick Lupo, who has served on Bunge’s Board since 2006 and in the role of Chairman since 2014, will remain a board member.

Bunge said Ms. Hyle will serve on the CEO search committee, along with board members Paul Fribourg, J. Erik Fyrwald and Mark Zenuk.

Hyle, 60 is said to have served as the head of the Audit Committee for the Bunge Board of Directors for the past five years.

She has also served as Senior Vice President of Constellation Energy and COO of Constellation Energy Resources from 2008 until her retirement in 2012, when Constellation completed its merger with Exelon Corp.

Ms. Hyle joined the company in 2003, and served in a variety of senior-level finance and operations positions, including as Chief Financial Officer of Constellation New Energy, Inc.

Elsewhere, she served as CFO of ANC Rental Corp.,Vice President and Treasurer of Auto Nation, Inc.; and Vice President and Treasurer of the Black & Decker Corp.

She is currently a Director of Amerisource Bergen Corporation and is a former Director of The ADT Corporation.

“I am very pleased to become Chair of Bunge’s Board of Directors,” said Kathleen Hyle, Chair, Bunge Limited.

“The company is well positioned for long-term growth with the strong foundation that has been established under Soren’s leadership.

We have a world-class global position in agribusiness and food and ingredients, and, with our excellent management team,we will continue to strengthen and evolve our business.

I want to thank Pat for his tremendous contributions to Bunge over the course of many years and his leadership as Board Chairman.”

Bunge recently announced that J. Erik Fyrwald, Chief Executive Officer of Syngenta has joined the company Board of Directors.