Nutrien Ltd., the world’s largest fertilizer maker, named Mayo Schmidt its new chief executive officer, replacing Chuck Magro, who stepped down to pursue new opportunities.

Magro will be available to the company until May 16 to facilitate a smooth transition, the Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based company said in a statement Sunday night.

For Schmidt, who briefly played for the Miami Dolphins in the 1980s, it’s his third opportunity to run a public company in Canada. He took over agricultural company Saskatchewan Wheat Pool and rebuilt it after a wrenching restructuring under a new name, Viterra Inc., before it was bought by Glencore Plc in 2012. Later he became CEO of Hydro One Ltd., an electrical utility in Ontario.

“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,” Russ Girling, Nutrien’s new chairman, said in a statement.

Shares of Nutrien fell 1.2 per cent to $69.20 at 9:34 a.m. trading in Toronto.

Nutrien was formed in 2018 from the merger of two large Canadian agriculture firms, Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan and Agrium Inc., with Magro as CEO. In addition to its vast potash, nitrogen and phosphate operations, the company owns a network of 2,000 retail outlets selling fertilizer, seed and other farm products in the Americas and Australia.

Nutrien shares are up 13 per cent this year, outpacing the Canadian stocks benchmark index. Potash producers have rallied recently after an Indian potash importer agreed to a surprise price increase.

“I have enjoyed every moment of my time at Nutrien, and I wish the company and its people continued success,” Magro said in a statement. “I look forward to working with Mayo over the coming weeks to support a seamless transition and to my next adventure.”