The Mosaic Co. has tapped James “Joc” O’Rourke to become the fertilizer giant’s new president and chief executive.

O’Rourke, 54, joined Mosaic in 2009 and since 2012 has served as executive vice president of operations and chief operating officer. He will succeed the retiring James Prokopanko as president and CEO on Aug. 5, the company announced late Wednesday.

“The board has full confidence in Joc and the rest of Mosaic’s talented management team,” said Robert Lumpkins, chairman of the company’s board. “Together, they will help Mosaic build on Jim’s legacy of success for our employees, customers, investors, communities and other stakeholders.”

Before joining Mosaic, O’Rourke was president of the Australia-Pacific region for Barrick Gold Corp. and responsible for Barrick’s 10 gold and copper mines in Australia and Papua New Guinea.

“Jim [Prokopanko’s] leadership took Mosaic from its early days to a company that boasts the best combination of people, assets, innovation and global reach in the crop nutrition industry,” O’Rourke said in a statement. “We will maintain our steadfast focus on our customers and other stakeholders, and we will use today’s solid foundation as a platform for further growth.”

Prokopanko said he is confident of O’Rourke’s leadership and of the company.

“It has been a great privilege to serve as CEO and help build the world’s leading crop nutrition company alongside some of the most talented people I have ever known,” he said. “I deeply appreciate the outpouring of support I received during my illness last year, and I am happy to be healthy today. I plan to enjoy my good health with my family.”

Prokopanko had taken leave last summer because of cancer treatments.

Mosaic is a global producer of phosphate and potash crop nutrients for agricultural operations worldwide. Two weeks ago, it reported first-quarter revenue that rose 5 percent to $2.1 billion. First-quarter profits rose 35 percent to $295 million.

At the time, officials said they were experiencing higher phosphate and potash prices, higher phosphate sales volumes and lower operating costs in its potash business. However, the company has also seen its results pressured by higher phosphate raw material costs, lower potash sales volumes and an increase in Canadian resource taxes and royalties.