Minneapolis, Minnesota-based Cargill has appointed Brian Sikes as president and CEO, effective Jan. 1. With this transition, Dave MacLennan will assume the role of executive chair of Cargill’s board of directors.
Sikes brings a track record of business operation to the role, having grown the company’s global protein and salt enterprise. Sikes currently serves as Cargill’s COO, where he has been instrumental in constructing the company’s long-term strategy. With experience across multiple businesses, cycles and geographies, Sikes held leadership roles in the U.S., Canada and Europe, and served as the head of the company’s talent center of expertise.
“As Cargill continues to navigate dynamic global markets, both operational excellence and a clearly articulated vision driven by purpose and values will define the company’s success, and there is no better person than Brian to lead Cargill,” MacLennan said.
“He’s a person of action and results, with a relentless passion for serving our customers and our people. Brian has the qualities we value in a strong leader – integrity, empathy, resilience and authenticity. Under his leadership, I am confident the best days for Cargill, and its greatest contributions, lie ahead.”
MacLennan joined Cargill in 1991 and served in multiple executive roles, including CFO and COO, before becoming the company’s chairman and CEO in 2013. During his nine years at the company’s helm, MacLennan helped achieve financial results while feeding families and building community resilience in more than 125 countries worldwide. In addition, the company built expertise in alternative proteins and has developed technologies and digital solutions to transform farming, supply chains and food delivery during his tenure.
Under MacLennan’s leadership, the company is on a path to achieve gender parity by 2030 and the representation of women on the executive team has increased to 46 percent. In addition, he has been a leader in sustainability, particularly around climate change. He prioritized action with programs like RegenConnect, which has advanced regenerative agriculture practices on 158,000 acres of North American farmland, and BeefUp Sustainability, which has reduced 1.7 million metric tons of CO2.
“I am honored to succeed Dave as Cargill’s president and CEO,” Sikes said. “Under his visionary leadership, Cargill has a solid foundation, business model and culture that positions us for long-term success. Our 160,000 employees across Cargill are the best in the industry. Together, we will grow with customers, strengthen our core and thoughtfully target new markets to ensure we are a reliable, sustainable partner for our customers – today and in the future.”
In his role as executive chair of the board, MacLennan will orchestrate a smooth leadership transition, serve as a strategic advisor to Sikes, the company and the board and support Cargill’s long-term strategic plan.