Mayo Schmidt named CEO of Nutrien after Chuck Magro resigns

File photo. Mayo Schmidt is taking over for Chuck Magro, who stepped down as president and CEO of Saskatoon-based Nutrien effective immediately. John Woods / The Canadian Press

Nutrien, one of the world’s largest fertilizer companies, has a new chief executive.

Mayo Schmidt is taking over for Chuck Magro, who stepped down as president and CEO of the Saskatoon-based company effective immediately.

“I look forward to leading the continued execution of Nutrien’s strategy and driving industry-leading performance across all our lines of business,” Schmidt said in a statement Monday.

“Over the coming weeks, I will be connecting with our employees, valued customers and shareholders to continue building our positive momentum and our focus on advancing sustainable solutions to feed a growing planet.”

Read more: Saskatoon-based Nutrien hikes dividend, plans share buybacks

Schmidt was named chair of Nutrien’s board of directors in May 2019 and will remain on the board.

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He previously served as president and CEO of Viterra and Hydro One Ltd.

Russ Girling, the former president and CEO of TC Energy, was named the new chair of Nutrien’s board of directors.

“Mayo is a remarkable leader who is committed to our values of safety and integrity, our purpose and our strategy focused on sustainably feeding the world,” Girling said.

“Under his leadership, along with our deep and experienced executive leadership team and our 27,000 dedicated employees, the board is confident the company is well positioned to continue to grow and create enduring shareholder value.”

Nutrien was created in 2018 after the merger of Agrium and PotashCorp.

Magro, who was the CEO of Agrium at the time of the merger, was named Nutrien’s CEO.

“I am very proud of the strong foundation we have built at Nutrien over the last several years,” Magro said, who also resigned from Nutrien’s board of directors.

“I am grateful for the dedication of our employees, and the important partnerships we have forged with our customers and stakeholders. I have enjoyed every moment of my time at Nutrien, and I wish the company and its people continued success.”

Nutrien said Magro will be available to the company until May 16 to ensure a smooth transition.

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Read more: Saskatoon-based Nutrien expands use of proximity alarms to battle COVID 19 pandemic

The company also announced it is reducing the size of its board of directors from 12 to 11 with Magro’s resignation from the board.

The company, which reports in U.S. dollars, noted net earnings of US$316 million or 55 cents per share on sales of $4.05 billion in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2020, compared with a loss of $48 million or eight cents on sales of $3.46 billion in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Nutrien had been expected to report net earnings of $81.3 million or 15 cents per share, according to financial data firm Refinitiv.

The company expects adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of $4 billion to $4.5 billion in 2021, up from a reported 2020 EBITDA of $3.67 billion.

— with a file from The Canadian Press

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