National Sugar Marketing LLC's Management Board announced their selection of food industry leader Chris Simons, formerly of Cargill, as its next president and chief executive officer. He succeeds Bill Smith, who has led National Sugar since its inception in 2011. Simons will assume day-to-day leadership of National Sugar on October 14, 2019. Smith will continue with National Sugar for the foreseeable future, to ensure a smooth transition and serve as an adviser to Simons and National Sugar on key initiatives.
Simons, a food production and sweeteners veteran, began his career with German grocery retailer Aldi. He's since spent nearly 20 years with Cargill, proving himself as a transformational leader during his tenure as vice president of Cargill's Sweeteners division – overseeing seven product lines with more than $2 billion in annual revenue.
"Over nearly two decades, Chris has built an impressive track record of strategic, operational, and commercial accomplishments," said Bill Smith. "He has proven to be a successful and trusted leader and brings to this position a strong reputation for developing people and inspiring teams. His wealth of experience across a global system will be a valuable asset as National Sugar continues to grow and improve how we serve our members and customers."
"It has been a tremendous honor to serve as the president and CEO of National Sugar Marketing since the inception of the company, and I am incredibly proud of everything we've accomplished together and how we serve our clients," Smith continued. "We've grown National Sugar into one of the preeminent sugar marketing firms in the nation, and I'm excited to see Chris continue to build on this momentum."
"We are confident Chris is the right person to lead National Sugar." shared Steve Domm, CEO of Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative and board chairman of National Sugar Marketing. "He is a seasoned manager with experience working with the food industry, creating efficiencies, and delivering value. We are thrilled to have him as our next CEO."
Smith has led National Sugar Marketing since its inception in 2011 as president and CEO, growing gross sales to nearly $1.4 billion, serving over 500 customers across more than 40 states. Smith also recently directed NSM's consolidation and move to its new headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.