Cargill announced Brian Sikes has been elected President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), effective Jan. 1, 2023. With this transition, Dave MacLennan will assume the role of Executive Chair of Cargill’s Board of Directors.
Sikes will be the 10th CEO in Cargill’s 157-year history and brings a strong track record of business operational rigor to the role, having grown the company’s global Protein and Salt enterprise into an industry leader. Sikes currently serves as Cargill’s Chief Operating Officer (COO), where he has been instrumental in constructing the company’s long-term strategy. With broad 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. His relentless focus on people and culture, customers, and proven expertise in leading growth and transformation have earned him the trust and respect of Cargill’s customers, employees and the Board.
Sikes will succeed MacLennan, who joined the company 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 outstanding financial results while feeding millions of families and building community resilience in more than 125 countries worldwide. His long-term strategic vision and willingness to disrupt are exemplified by his leadership on the largest acquisitions in the company’s history, including Croda (bioindustrials), EWOS (aquaculture), Diamond V (animal nutrition), and Sanderson and Wayne Farms (poultry). 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.
MacLennan is passionate about employee well-being, never compromising worker health and safety for production. He created Cargill’s sustainability office and built a culture that prioritizes and celebrates diversity, equity and inclusion. Under his 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%. In addition, he has been an industry leader in sustainability, particularly around climate change. He prioritized action, not just making commitments, 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.
In his role as Executive Chair of the Board, MacLennan will ensure a smooth leadership transition, serve as a trusted strategic advisor to Sikes, the company and the Board and support Cargill’s long-term strategic plan.