MINNEAPOLIS – Gert-jan (G.J.) van den Akker, a former Cargill executive and managing director, will become a member of the Cargill Leadership Team, effective Dec. 1. The global executive group is in charge of Cargill’s strategic direction and organizational priorities. He had been senior head of global relations at Louis Dreyfuss, a privately-owned food and agriculture company.
“G.J.’s global perspective, background in trading and risk management, and leadership philosophy will play an important role in driving Cargill’s direction and goals,” said David MacLennan, chairman and CEO for Minneapolis-based Cargill.
In 1987, van den Akker, a Dutch national, joined Cargill’s grain and oilseeds business in The Netherlands as a management trainee. He took on assignments that led to roles with palm oil byproducts in Kuala Lumpur, domestic grain markets in Tokyo, and corn and soybeans in Geneva.
In 1994, van den Akker joined Cargill’s Ocean Transportation business, where he served as managing director from 2007-11. Then he took a senior business leadership role for what is now Cargill Energy, Transportation & Metals, and he also was a member of the Cargill Risk Committee. In 2013, van den Akker left Cargill for Louis Dreyfus.
Cargill’s leadership team now has six members: van den Akker, MacLennan, vice chairman Paul Conway, vice chairman and chief risk officer Emery Koenig, executive vice president and CFO Marcel Smits, and senior vice president Todd Hall.