Bunge Ltd., a global leader in agribusiness, food and food ingredients, has appointed Gregory A. Heckman as CEO, effective immediately.

Heckman joined the Bunge board in October 2018 and has served as acting CEO since January 2019. His appointment to the role of CEO accelerates Bunge’s commitment to execute against the strategic priorities established last quarter by Heckman: improving performance, focusing and optimizing the portfolio and strengthening financial discipline.

“After a thorough, global search process, the board clearly recognized that Greg has the unique combination of expertise, vision and leadership to successfully lead Bunge,” said Non-Executive Board Chair Kathleen Hyle. “His effectiveness over the past several months as acting CEO has solidified our view that Greg will drive continued progress for the business.”

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Heckman, 56, is a seasoned agribusiness executive with more than 30 years of experience in the agribusiness, food and food ingredients sectors. He previously served as CEO of the Gavilon Group and in senior executive roles at ConAgra Foods.

“I joined the Bunge board because I recognized the significant opportunity to leverage Bunge’s team and global footprint to drive improved operational performance and create shareholder value,” said Heckman. “The last few months spent visiting company facilities and meeting with employees around the world has reinforced and increased my confidence in Bunge’s ability to deliver for our customers, shareholders and partners. We will continue to streamline and focus the business as we position Bunge for the future.”

Heckman holds a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture economics and marketing from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He will be based at Bunge’s headquarters in White Plains, New York.