Cargill became the second agricultural trading giant this year to announce that its chief executive is to step down, to be replaced by an internal candidate, revealing that Greg Page will quit after six years.
Mr Page, Cargill chief executive since 2007, will step down from the post in December, as part of the group's "ongoing succession planning with the board".
He will be succeeded by David MacLennan, whose 22-year career at Cargill has included spells in the UK and Switzerland as well as in the group's native US, gaining the position of chief operating officer in a reshuffle two years ago.
Mr MacLennan, aged 54, was finance director from 2008-11, regaining these responsibilities last November on an acting basis after the resignation of Sergio Rial, who returned to Brazil after 17 month in the post.
Page vs Weisser
The announcement of Mr Page's departure comes seven months after rival agricultural trading giant Bunge revealed that its longstanding chief executive, Alberto Weisser, was to step down as chief executive, also in favour of an internal candidate, Soren Schroder.
And like Mr Weisser, Mr Page will retain executive chairmanship, a role which Cargill said meant that he would "continue to lead the board and represent the company in a variety of interactions and public forums".
However, Cargill gave no date for Mr Page, 62, to relinquish this role.
Mr Weisser will quit as Bunge chairman at the end of this year.
Mr MacLennan said that Mr Page had been a "truly outstanding" boss at Cargill, and had overseen "remarkable growth across many dimensions, focused our operations on innovation and value-added products… and better positioned the company to help feed the world sustainably".
During Mr Page's reign, Cargill has ridden out some difficult periods, including the financial crisis and a slide in earnings to $73m in the March-to-May period last year, the worst quarter since 2001, as the group struggled with high crop prices and politically-influenced markets it found difficult to read.
The group also oversaw the disposal of its stake in Mosaic, the fertilizer giant, bankrolling a series of acquisitions of which the $2.2bn purchase of feed group Provimi was the highest profile example, but has included also targets such as Sweekar sunflower oil in India and Pomarolo tomato sauce in an effort to tap higher margins in consumer foods.
Cargill last month unveiled the purchase of Australia-based Joe White Maltings from Glencore to join the top rank of malt groups, with Malteurop and Soufflet, boasting capacity of roughly 2m tonnes a year.
'Excited about the opportunities'
Mr Page said that he had been "impressed" by Mr MacLennan's "leadership, his vision and the breadth and depth of his knowledge and experience.
"We are excited about the opportunities ahead and have the highest confidence in David to deliver on that promise."
Cargill, founded 148 years ago, is one of the world's biggest privately owned companies, with operations ranging from beef processing to ethanol production to structured finance.