Wilbur-Ellis announced that John Buckley is assuming direct oversight of the company's crop agriculture business, while continuing as Wilbur-Ellis president and CEO.
This move comes as current agribusiness president Mark Ripato prepares to retire at the end of 2023, and the company intensifies its focus on agriculture and food markets in North America, following the merger of Connell–its Asia-Pacific specialty chemicals and ingredients business–with Caldic earlier this year.
"Wilbur-Ellis is focusing all of our time, resources and investment toward serving customers at the start of the North American agriculture and food system," Buckley said. "We're working to bring those customers the best of today's products, services, and solutions–combined with new ideas and innovations for the future."
Buckley continued: "For over 100 years, Wilbur-Ellis has been providing sustainable solutions to help our customers be more successful. Today, with a rapidly changing marketplace, that's never been more important. Going forward, we'll continue to be at the forefront in providing the technology and innovation customers need. That helps customers increase their return on investment, and it enables Wilbur-Ellis achieve its purpose – providing the essentials for the world to thrive."
The transition in crop ag leadership that Wilbur-Ellis announced is a long-planned part of the company's strategy. Until the end of 2023, Mark Ripato will serve as an advisor to Buckley and others in the company.
Ripato joined Wilbur-Ellis in 2018, as did Buckley, who also serves on the board of directors. "Mark is recognized both in Wilbur-Ellis and throughout the agriculture industry for his expertise, passion and extraordinary leadership," Buckley said. "Mark has brought all those strengths to Wilbur-Ellis over the past five years. Early on, Mark made his retirement plans clear. And now, as he and his wife, Kim, prepare for retirement, I wish them all the best. But I also will miss Mark's partnership as Wilbur-Ellis continues the exciting journey we're on," Buckley added.
In discussing his upcoming retirement, Ripato said: "It has been an honor to lead the agribusiness organization, and to see the dedication of Wilbur-Ellis people to the continued success of our customers. That has always been our driving force, and I'm proud to have been a part of it."