Cargill has 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.
Therefore, Sikes will be the 10th CEO in Cargill’s 157-year history. He 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. He currently serves as Cargill’s Chief Operating Officer, 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. He 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.
“As Cargill continues to navigate dynamic global markets, both operational excellence and a clearly articulated vision driven by purpose and values will define the company’s success. There is no better person than Brian to lead Cargill,” said MacLennan.
“He’s a person of action and results, with a relentless passion for serving our customers and our people. Brian has the qualities we value in a strong leader—integrity, empathy, resilience, and authenticity. Under his leadership, I am confident the best days for Cargill, and its greatest contributions, lie ahead.”
Nine years in Cargill
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, EWOS, Diamond V, Sanderson, and Wayne Farms (poultry).
In addition, the company built expertise in alternative proteins. It has developed technologies and digital solutions to transform farming, supply chains, and food delivery during its tenure. MacLennan is passionate about employee well-being, never compromising worker health and safety for production.
Moreover, 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 achieving gender parity by 2030. The representation of women on the Executive Team has increased to 46%.
Besides, 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.
“I am honored to succeed Dave as Cargill’s President and CEO,” said Sikes. “Under his visionary leadership, Cargill has a solid foundation, business model, and culture that positions us for long-term success. Our 160,000 employees across Cargill are the best in the industry. Together, we will grow with customers, strengthen our core and thoughtfully target new markets to ensure we are a reliable, sustainable partner for our customers –today and in the future.”
Finally, 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.