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Aug 8, 2022

Nutrien's interim CEO takes top job following C-suite shakeups

The fertilizer sector is seeing record results on a record year: Analyst

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Nutrien Ltd. named Ken Seitz as its new chief executive officer, months after a boardroom shakeup at the world’s largest fertilizer maker.

Seitz was named interim CEO in January after former CEO Mayo Schmidt made a surprise exit after just eight months in the top job. The new role is effective immediately, according to a statement Monday from the Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based company.

Seitz said he’s “thrilled” that after seven months as the interim CEO the board decided this would be the best outcome. The company will continue to grow in places like Brazil and stay focused on serving farmers while navigating uncertainties from inflation and geopolitical issues, he added.

“I think what you can expect from us is consistency,” Seitz said Monday in an interview. 

Seitz joined Nutrien in 2019 as the head of the company’s potash business and executive vice president. Before that, he was the CEO of Canpotex, a joint venture that markets potash outside North America for Nutrien and Mosaic Co.

“Nutrien’s record performance and disciplined execution of strategy during some of the most turbulent times we have seen globally underscore the strength of Ken Seitz’s leadership,” Russ Girling, chair of Nutrien’s board said in the statement.

Seitz’s appointment comes as fertilizer markets have soared to multiyear highs after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February threw a chunk of the world’s crop nutrient supplies into chaos. Nutrien has pledged to boost production after months of supply disruptions.

Nutrien’s shares have gained more than 14 per cent this year, lagging North American peers CF Industries Holdings Inc. and Mosaic.