The head of cotton at Cargill Inc. has left the company after nearly three decades, the latest in a series of changes at the more than 150-year-old privately held firm as it contends with a commodities rout.
Doug Christie, president of Memphis, Tenn.-based Cargill Cotton, was with the company 29 years, a Cargill spokesman said in an email. His departure is the latest in a series of changes at the Minneapolis-based agribusiness leader and comes as cotton prices languish near 2009 lows, pressured by rising demand for man-made fibers and excess inventories, particularly in top consumer China.
The spokesman did not provide details on the reason for Christie’s departure, which was first reported by the Financial Times, or comment on who would replace him.
Christie’s exit comes as Cargill and other agricultural merchants face slumping commodities prices and slowing demand in key regions. Cargill said it saw weaker performance in cotton when it reported earnings in January.
Cargill has been in the midst of a shake-up, having launched a restructuring last year with plans to eliminate up to 2.5 percent of its employees, according to sources.
Christie started his career as a grain and oilseed trader and became president of the company’s cotton unit nearly seven years ago, according to his LinkedIn profile. With roots in cotton since 1818, Cargill is one of the oldest and largest traders of the fiber.
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