BASEL, SWITZERLAND — J. Erik Fyrwald, who spent 27 years at E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co., has been named president and chief executive officer of Syngenta AG, effective June 1. He succeeds John Ramsay, who has been ad interim c.e.o. since November 2015. Michael Mack stepped down as c.e.o. on Oct. 31, 2015, just a few months after the Swiss company rejected a $47 billion takeover bid from St. Louis-based rival Monsanto Co.
Mr. Fyrwald most recently has been president and c.e.o. of Univar Inc., a global distributor of chemical products and provider of related services, including agricultural inputs, since 2012. Earlier, he was president of EcoLab and chairman, president and c.e.o. of Nalco. Prior to joining Nalco he was with DuPont for 27 years, where he held positions of increasing responsibility in technology, manufacturing, sales and marketing, strategic planning and regional and global business unit leadership, including four years in Asia. In 2003, Mr. Fyrwald was named group vice-president of DuPont Agriculture and Nutrition, which included the Pioneer Seed, DuPont Crop Protection Products and Solae Food Ingredients businesses. He also served as chairman of Crop Life International for two years during this period.
He received a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Delaware and completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.“After a rigorous search, the board concluded that Erik’s leadership and considerable experience in both agriculture and chemicals, along with his strong track record of success as a c.e.o. made him the outstanding candidate for the role,” said Michel Demaré, chairman of Syngenta. “Erik has demonstrated throughout his career the ability to work successfully in different environments, designing and leading strategies that resulted in impressive value creation. I look forward to working with him to create the next chapter of Syngenta’s story of success.”