Pilar Cruz, currently managing director of Cargill’s European poultry business, based in Hereford, U.K., will be taking on an exciting and challenging new global role for Cargill as corporate vice president and head of Cargill Strategy and Business Development (SBD), based in Minneapolis, MN.

This career-defining appointment recognizes the achievements that Cruz has made since taking on this European managing director role in 2013 and marks the significant evolutionary progress of the poultry business. Cruz and her team have worked diligently to lay the foundation for a high-performing, sustainable business, strengthening partnerships with strategic customers and investing in people and operations in order to become a world-class poultry business in Europe.

Mary Thompson, currently managing director for Cargill’s US Value Added Meats (CVAM) business, which serves many important foodservice customers, will become the new managing director of Cargill’s European Poultry business and will move from Wichita, KS, to Hereford, effective Aug. 1.

Prior to assuming her Wichita role in 2011, Thompson served as president of Cargill’s North American egg business, vice president of the company’s corn milling business and led the company’s dry corn ingredients group. Thompson joined Cargill in 1992, and has held various positions in the company’s oilseed, soy protein and strategy and business development groups. 

Thompson and her teams have a track record of delivering distinctive customer solutions and leading change.  In CVAM, she worked to improve performance across the business, culminating in record earnings for FY15. She also led an acquisition that delivered double the expected earnings and won the Cargill Chairman’s Award for High Performance. She has been a strong supporter of diversity and inclusion, and has effectively recruited new talent.

Cruz says, “It was such an honor to be recognized with this new role but I am also equally thrilled that Mary is joining Cargill’s European poultry business and bringing such a wealth of experience.  Mary’s commitment to food safety, quality, operational excellence and strategic customer focus makes her a great fit for our team. I am excited to take on my next challenge knowing that this business will thrive under its new leadership and that the business will continue on its journey towards becoming a high-performing, sustainable business.”