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Continued: Schafer: An unusual path for Cargill's new leader

  • Article by: LEE SCHAFER , Star Tribune
  • Last update: September 11, 2013 - 8:39 PM

Cargill is a firm that has a planning horizon extending for years. A long-term plan at a broker dealer is one that calls for unloading by Friday lunch all of the bonds of an issue the firm just underwrote.

MacLennan would have learned to be a recruiter, and he was reportedly quite skilled at it. That also means re-recruiting the people already there, for broker dealers this century aren’t known for a Cargill kind of staff stability.

While he was at Piper, MacLennan kept in touch with his old supervisor when he was CFO of Cargill Financial Services — Greg Page. He went back to Cargill because he was invited. In 2002 MacLennan was named president of Cargill Petroleum and corporate vice president and director of Cargill International.

There’s more than just MacLennan’s story to show that Cargill has been thinking more broadly about talent in its senior ranks and not just promoting from its ranks of lifers. In April, for example, the company announced that former Sara Lee executive Marcel Smits would become Cargill’s CFO.

And MacLennan’s career may also be a lesson in how you properly behave on the way out the door.

There is, in fact, just one way to quit any job. “Thanks for the opportunity,” you say. “And I wish you continued success.”

Then you just may someday get an invitation to return.

 

lee.schafer@startribune.com • 612-673-4302

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