Cargill Inc. has named Brian Sikes as its new head of global protein, the company's largest business.

Sikes will lead the global protein and salt businesses, as corporate vice president, beginning in early 2019. Todd Hall, currently in the role, is retiring after 36 years at Cargill.

With the new position, Sikes joins Cargill's 11-person executive team at its Minnetonka headquarters.

"Todd has led some of Cargill's largest and most successful acquisitions," David MacLennan, Cargill chairman and chief executive, said in a statement. "We are confident Brian is the right leader to build on that success."

Sikes most recently led Cargill's North American protein business at the division's Wichita, Kan., headquarters through a period of rapid transition. During his tenure as president, Cargill sold its U.S. pork business to JBS USA for $1.45 billion.

He also led the development of the new 188,000-square-foot Cargill Protein headquarters building in Wichita, which is slated to open early next month. He will split his time between Wichita and the Minnesota corporate home office, and will also travel to the agribusiness' many plants around the globe.

Cargill is a dominant player in global meat, processing beef, poultry and egg products that it sells to food manufacturers, food service companies and retailers. Its salt is used in food, agriculture, water softening and de-icing.

The two businesses, which have been joined since 2008, are in 16 countries, with significant operations in the U.S., Canada, Central America, China, Southeast Asia and the U.K.

The protein and salt businesses account for more than 60,000 of Cargill's 155,000 global employees.