Chief Executive Officer, Crop Science

Kincannon & Reed has been retained to recruit a strategic, results-oriented executive to serve as CEO, Crop Science. This CEO role will appeal to accomplished executives with an extensive crop science industry network and global experience. The successful candidate will understand the company’s potential in the biological solutions space and excel in leading a global organization through the next stage of growth.

The Company

This Company has grown into a multi-billion dollar global company with more than 6000 people sharing their vision. Foundational to the company’s philosophy is an emphasis on sustainability and to build a business that will have a positive impact on our planet far into the future.

For nearly 25 years, they have been a global leader in the application of microbial fermentation and nutrigenomic research to enhance yields, reduce stress, and improve health in crops. These natural, proven solutions promote sustainability, profitability, and value creation throughout the food chain. They produce the full spectrum of biological products a farmer requires to improve and maintain crop health, with an over 25-year history of leading research and development that has resulted in an innovation-rich portfolio. With a biologics product lineup spanning across protection, performance, and nutrition solutions, they merge a deep understanding of fermentation technology and crop biologics with tailored R&D to focus on regional market needs. Headquartered in Kentucky, they hold strong market positions and manufacturing facilities in the U.S., Brazil, and Spain.

The Position

The CEO, Crop Science will be accountable to provide leadership for all commercial, operational, and financial aspects. Reporting to the Company’s CEO, s/he will be responsible for establishing the Company’s strategic direction (in collaboration with the Company’s leadership and his/her leadership team), understanding customer needs, implementing a tactical plan, working closely with existing brand management, achieving financial targets, and maintaining results-orientated, strong ethics driven culture. The purpose of this role is to provide global leadership in shaping the Company’s R&D strategy and capabilities, build a globally efficient and locally compelling product portfolio and pipeline supported by an integrated regulatory framework and optimize the go-to-market strategies for core and growth markets.

Specific responsibilities include:

  • Establish a clear vision with specific goals to drive market expansion, organization growth, and financial success
  • Lead and manage an effective implementation of strategies and plans to achieve the Company’s P&L targets and drive revenue and EBITDA growth on a sustainable basis
  • Integrate the global team, strategy, and operations to ensure the supply chain is aligned to meet sales demand and exceed customer service levels with current market opportunities and projected growth
  • Identify and leverage the Company’s existing shared services where appropriate, enabling the Company to focus on building the business
  • Cultivate strong relationships within communities where the Company has major operations. Actively promote the Company and demonstrate commitment to the Company mission of sustainability and vision

Other important parameters for this position include:

  • Position reports to the CEO
  • The position is supported by a team of at least three direct reports and a total staff of 180-200
  • Located at Company headquarters in Kentucky
  • This position includes the opportunity for significant domestic and international travel
  • Candidates with significant global experience and multilingual capabilities are preferred
Candidate Profile

We seek a results-driven executive who has excellent strategic thinking skills, relevant crop science industry experience, a strong team-oriented attitude, and a business builder’s mentality, thought process, and execution capability.  The candidate will have a “roll-up-your-sleeves” management style and have the experience and ability to work successfully in a privately held family-owned business. S/he will be grounded in the solid business practices needed to run a successful enterprise yet have an entrepreneur’s savvy and tenacity to achieve the division’s growth plans.

Experience and Education

  • Experience as a general or commercial executive with P&L responsibility in the crop science industry
  • Demonstrated success working in a fast-paced start-up environment, and in a privately held family-owned business, are a plus.
  • Broad understanding of current and evolving biologics technologies and solid knowledge of logistical, supply chain, and production management functions in the crop science industry
  • Track record of developing and implementing successful, unique business strategies, including initiating and successfully managing value-creating partnerships
  • A Bachelor’s degree in agriculture, science, business, or a related discipline. An advanced degree is a plus.

Skills & Personal Characteristics

  • A strategic orientation with the ability to apply a solid grasp of business management principles and act opportunistically, in the context of the Company’s structure and business
  • Demonstrated ability to synthesize customer trends and market information into successful commercial strategies
  • Financially savvy and resourceful. Strong analytical, evaluative, and problem-solving skills. Can build a compelling business case for investment proposals
  • Ability to drive impact while working in a management style that aligns with the Company’s core values and culture and which fosters action orientation, customer service, and sustainability
  • Excellent communication skills. Skilled at quickly fostering trust. A high level of integrity, intellectual bandwidth, and energy

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