Nutrien searching for new CEO after Mayo Schmidt steps down

Details on Mayo Schmidt’s departure from Saskatoon-based Nutrien have not been released by the company. Liam Richards / The Canadian Press

Mayo Schmidt has stepped down as president and CEO of Nutrien.

The Saskatoon-based fertilizer company said Tuesday that Schmidt has also resigned from its board of directors.

Read more: Nutrien reports record second quarter earnings of US$1.1 billion

Ken Seitz has been named the company’s interim CEO.

“Nutrien has delivered exceptional results in 2021 and is well-positioned to continue this strong momentum into 2022,” said Russ Girling, chair of Nutrien’s board of directors.

“Nutrien has a talented and deep executive team, and we are confident that Ken Seitz and this team will continue to build on the organization’s record financial and operating performance.”

The company said Seitz has extensive global leadership experience in the agriculture and mining industries and is positioned to lead Nutrien during the transition.

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“I look forward to working with the executive leadership team, our tremendous employees and the board of directors to execute on our plan, continue this exciting progression across our business to serve our stakeholders, and deliver on our commitment to advance sustainable solutions to feed a growing world,” Seitz said in a statement.

Seitz joined Nutrien in 2019 as executive vice-president and CEO of Potash. He is the former president and CEO of Canpotex, which markets potash to the world for Mosaic and Nutrien.

Read more: Mayo Schmidt named CEO of Nutrien after Chuck Magro resigns

Details on Schmidt’s departure from Nutrien have not been released by the company.

“On behalf of the board of directors and the Nutrien team, I would like to thank Mayo Schmidt for his years of service to the organization. We wish him the best in his next endeavors,” Girling said.

In an email, Nutrien spokeswoman Megan Fielding said the company cannot comment on the reason behind Schmidt’s departure, as “there are legal constraints on what we can say.”

“Beyond that, Nutrien doesn’t comment on individual matters pertaining to personnel changes,” Fielding said, though she added the CEO change will not impact the strategic direction of the company.

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Schmidt was named chair of Nutrien’s board in May 2019 and took over as CEO in April 2021 after Chuck Magro stepped down.

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

Nutrien said a search is underway for a new CEO.

“The Nutrien board of directors will work with an executive search firm to begin a global search to select a long-term leader that will take the company into its next phase, which will consider internal and external candidates,” Girling said.

With files from The Canadian Press

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