Swiss-based Syngenta, which employs 450 in the Research Triangle and 750 in Greensboro, has named CFO John Ramsay as interim CEO to replace Mike Mack. Mack stepped down following mounting shareholder criticism of how he handled Monsanto’s $47 billion takeover bid.
Monsanto withdrew its third and final bid citing Syngenta’s reluctance to engage and current ag-bio market conditions.
Syngenta, which has a research and development center for its seeds and crop protection business in the RTP, has been focused on cost cutting and some would like to see it take a growth approach instead.
A shareholder group that includes private and institutional investors called the Alliance of Critical Syngenta shareholders issued a statement saying “Syngenta urgently needs a leadership that recognizes the realities of the fast changing markets and draws the right conclusions.”
“The new CEO should be an external person who brings a fresh perspective to Syngenta,” Martin Lehmann, a partner at Zurich-based 3V Asset Management, which holds shares in Syngenta told Bloomberg news. “The successor will have to massively improve the company’s communications with its owners, the shareholders.”