John_Atkin Syngenta

John Atkin

Syngenta's chief operating officer and long-serving employee John Atkin is set to retire from the company at the end of 2014.

He will be succeeded by Jon Parr, who will assume responsibility for two of the company's four regions: Europe, Africa and the Middle East and Latin America. North America and Asia Pacific will remain under the leadership of Davor Pisk, chief operating officer for those regions.

Atkin is retiring after a 37-year career in agriculture, of which the last 25 have been with Syngenta and its legacy companies as a widely respected authority in the crop protection industry. He has been chief operating officer at Syngenta since the foundation of the company in 2000.

Parr has worked for Syngenta and its legacy companies since 1987. A spokesperson for Syngenta said: 'Parr has broad experience across both crop protection and seeds including commercial and supply chain roles. From 2009 until the end of 2013 he was regional director for Europe, Africa and the Middle East where he successfully drove the integration of the business while achieving significant growth in sales and profitability. Since the beginning of 2014 he has held the role of head of global crops and assets, targeting the optimization of global crop and product platforms.'

Following Atkin's retirement from the Syngenta executive committee, he will join the board of the Syngenta Foundation for sustainable agriculture, whose mission is to create value for resource-poor small farmers in developing countries. He will also pursue his farming interests in the United Kingdom, and will continue as a non-executive director of the fresh fruit company Driscoll's.

Mike Mack, Syngenta CEO, said: 'John Atkin played a pivotal role in the creation of Syngenta by successfully merging two crop protection businesses to form a clear industry leader, the strength of which continues to be a cornerstone of our integrated strategy.

'Throughout his tenure, John's determination and keen judgment have been invaluable to us, and the quality of his leadership has been appreciated across the company. On behalf of the board of directors and the executive committee, I should like to thank John for his outstanding contribution and to wish him a long and happy retirement. I am confident that in Jon Parr we have found a strong successor to sustain our focus on growing the business and improving profitability.'

Syngenta has more than 28,000 employees in over 90 countries.