Boardroom shuffle begins at AGCO

The search for a new AGCO boss to replace Martin Richenhagen, who it is widely reported plans to retire at the end of 2020, appears to have started following a couple of recent senior management appointments.

by Steven Vale

26 Dec 2018

The serious betting money for a new leader of the US parent company, which owns Challenger, Fendt, MF and Valtra, has around 4,200 global dealers, and forecasts net sales of $9.3 billion in 2018, is likely to be on senior vice president Eric Hansotia (main picture), who starts a new position in January as chief operating officer.

Reporting directly to chairman, president, and CEO Mr Richenhagen, in his new role Mr Hansotia assumes responsibility for all the company’s regional commercial operations as well as its global product management, engineering, manufacturing and supply chain functions.

“Eric’s leadership and broad industry knowledge make him uniquely qualified for this important new position,” said Mr. Richenhagen. “His strong strategic view on the future trends in global agriculture along with his operational experience will ensure AGCO continues to be successful in meeting the changing needs of our customers.”

Rob Smith, senior vice president and general manager of AGCO’s Europe and Middle East region, is the new chairman of AGCO (Fendt) Marktoberdorf.

Mr Hansotia would appear to be in pole position as the logical successor to Mr Richenhagen. However, Rob Smith (senior vice president and general manager of AGCO’s important Europe and Middle East region), who has just been appointed as chairman of the supervisory board of AGCO Fendt, would appear to be equally quailified to head up the company.

“I have every confidence that Mr Smith will continue to promote the successful growth of the Fendt brand and the company’s German sites, with the full support of the supervisory board, executive management and the entire workforce,” said outgoing chairman Mr Richenhagen, who remains a supervisory board member.

AGCO chairman, president and CEO Martin Richenhagen.

We will have to wait and see if one of these two men is being streamlined for the position to head up one of the world’s largest farm machinery companies, or whether another potential candidate is being groomed for the job.