Processed and packaged food company Corn Products International, Inc. (CPO) Tuesday announced the appointment of Ilene Gordon as its chairman, president and chief executive officer, effective May 4. Ilene will succeed Samuel Scott III, who is retiring consistent with the company's policy that senior executives step down by age 65.
According to the company, Ilene, who began her career as a strategy consultant at the Boston Consulting Group, has more than 30 years of senior-level, international management experience and a proven track record as a leader.
Since 2007, she has been president and chief executive officer of Rio Tinto's (RTP, RIO.L) Alcan Packaging, leading its $6.5 billion global packaging business with 130 factories in 30 countries servicing the food, beauty and pharmaceutical industries, among others. From 2004 to 2006, she was president of Alcan Food Packaging Americas, where she managed a business with $1.4 billion in sales and 5,000 employees in six countries.
Prior to Alcan's acquisition of Pechiney in 2003, Ilene served Pechiney and Tenneco for more than 20 years. She is a director of Arthur J. Gallagher & Company, chairing its governance committee, and a director of United Stationers, serving on its human resources and governance committees.
Commenting on her appointment, Board Member William Norman said, We selected Ilene Gordon because of her strong leadership skills, international experience, and knowledge of commodity businesses and the food and beverage industry. We are confident this will be an orderly, thorough and thoughtful transition.
Retiring chief executive Scott, who spent 35 years with Corn Products, had announced in January 2008 his intention to retire. He served as chairman and chief executive officer of the company since February 2001 and president since 1997. During his tenure as chief executive officer, the company expanded its international operations, made several key acquisitions and surpassed $3.9 billion in net sales.
Commenting on his years at Corn Products, Scott said, Since becoming a public company 11 years ago, by focusing on our core values and pursuing our Pathways strategy, which we introduced in 2003, Corn Products has exceeded each of the five key financial targets we promised our stakeholders.
According to Scott, the company has been able to navigate the challenging global marketplace with discipline and much success to date. Gordon and the rest of the management team have managed through challenging times before at their respective organizations, and are prepared to deal with the global recession of 2009, he added.
For the recently closed fourth quarter, Corn Products' profit and net sales were nearly flat with the prior-year quarter. In June last year, White Plains, New York-based agribusiness and food company Bunge Ltd. (BG) announced a deal to acquire Corn Products for about $4.8 billion, including the assumption of Corn Products' net debt of about $414 million. But, in early November 2008, Corn Products' Board withdrew its recommendation, and the deal was terminated.
CPO closed Monday's trading at $23.59, up $0.40, on a volume of 942,300 shares.
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