Seeds and pesticides maker Syngenta, the Swiss agrochemicals company planning a $10 billion initial public offering (IPO), announced a new leader for its biggest business on Friday.
Jeff Rowe, now President, Global Seeds, will take over the leadership of Syngenta Crop Protection, effective July 1. The 49-year-old American will replace Jon Parr, who is retiring after 35 years with the company.
The job, in charge of Syngenta’s biggest division which made up nearly half the group’s $28.2 billion sales in 2021, could make Rowe a front-runner to eventually succeed Chief Executive Erik Fyrwald, aged 62.
Rowe has overseen rapid growth at the seeds business since joining Syngenta in 2016 and also led its return to profitability, the company said.
Justin Wolfe, regional director for the North America seeds business, will replace Rowe as head of global seeds at Syngenta, which competes with U.S. company Corteva (NYSE:CTVA) and Germany’s BASF and Bayer (OTC:BAYRY).
Syngenta was bought in 2017 for $43 billion by ChemChina, which was folded into Sinochem Holdings Corp last year. The parent company plans to keep a majority stake after the flotation, which it hopes to complete by the end of the year.