Agrium extended the round of leadership changes at North American agribusinesses by unveiling the retirement of long-standing boss Mike Wilson, ending the fertilizer's segment's "Wilson and Wilson" leadership decade.
The Canada-based potash and farm retail business said that Mr Wilson would at the end of 2013 retire as chief executive after 13 years at the company.
He will be succeeded by Chuck Magro, the Agrium chief operating officer.
The announcement is the latest in a round of agribusiness leadership changes which is taking in Bunge and Cargill, besides CF Industries, the nitrogen fertilizer group where Stephen Wilson is also to step down as chief executive at the end of the year.
The two Wilsons, who have both served for 10 years in the new role, were bitter rivals in the takeover battle for Terra Industries three years - a contest which CF Industries eventually won with a $4.7bn bid.
Investors will discover later whether markets react to the retirement of Agrium's Mike Wilson in the same way as Stephen Wilson's step-down, which prompted a 4% gain in CF shares.
Agrium stock has so far increased by more than 500% during Mike Wilson's reign, which has included a series of successful takeovers, in both the fertilizer and farm retail sectors.
Deals have included the 2008 purchase of UAP Holding for $2.65bn, besides the 2010 acquisition in Australia of AWB, from which Agrium kept a rural services chain covering more than 350 locations, carving off the grain trading operations to sell to Cargill.
Agrium expanded in Canada by buying Viterra retail outlets sold after the grain handler's purchase by Glencore.
Victor Zaleschuk said Mr Wilson had led Agrium on a "very successful expansionary phase".
Not all plain sailing
However, Mr Wilson's vision of a unified group, both making and selling fertilizer, has come under fire from some investors, leading to a bitter proxy battle with New York hedge fund Jana Partners, Agrium's biggest shareholder, which fought for the group to be split up.
Agrium in April won a key vote, leaving its strategy intact.
More recently, the group has, like other fertilizer companies, been riding out the turmoil caused by Uralkali's break-up of the Belarusian Potash Company consortium, and a forecast that prices of the nutrient could tumble by 25% or more to less than $300 a tonne.
Agrium two weeks ago warned of a drop of some 60% in operating profits at its wholesale fertilizer operations reflecting "soft nutrient prices, combined with lower sales volumes… across all three nutrients" – nitrogen, phosphate and potash.
Russia-based Uralkali said separately on Thursday that it expects the drop in potash prices to stop short of taking them to $300 a tonne, with the market hitting a bottom early in 2014, after which it will stage a "definite rebound".