Today marks important transitions in the lives of three very important people to Land O’Lakes. After nearly 40 years at the company, Dan Knutson will be retiring from the position of Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Dan currently holds responsibility for corporate finance, accounting, audit, treasury and strategy; and has played key roles in many of the transactions that helped make us the company we are today.
Dan joined us in 1978 and has worked in finance roles throughout the company before becoming CFO in 2000. He has been an important member of the leadership team that has delivered a string of record earnings. Dan was raised on a farm and has seen the value of farming from every side of the business, both professionally and personally. We thank him for all he has done for this company, and very importantly, for his friendship and counsel over the years.
Dan will transition out of his current role on May 1 and move into a short-term external projects role, focusing on growth and external development until December.
With Dan’s retirement, we have the opportunity to move another key contributor into the important role of CFO. Effective May 1, Bill Pieper has been promoted to Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Bill will join the Executive Leadership Team, report directly to Chris Policinski, President and CEO, and have responsibility for corporate finance, accounting, audit and treasury.
Bill joined Land O’Lakes in 2005 as vice president, finance and accounting for Purina, and has had progressive roles across the businesses to move into his current role of vice president, chief accounting officer and treasurer. Prior to joining Land O’Lakes, Bill had senior finance roles at ADC Telecommunications and NRG Energy. He also spent 7 years at KPMG Peat Marwick earlier in his career.
Effective May 1, Thea Keamy has been promoted to SVP, Corporate Strategy and Business Development, reporting to Chris Policinski, President and CEO. Thea will join the Executive Leadership Team and continue to play a key role in company strategy and identifying acquisitions that will be key to Land O’Lakes growth.
Thea joined Land O’Lakes in 1998 as director, corporate strategy and business development. She then served as the General Manager of Dairy Foods Poland. Following that global experience, she returned to strategic planning and business development, and later was in key leadership positions within Dairy Foods including director of Land O’Lakes butter and spreads, and later as vice president retail cheese and marketing services. She then moved to vice president of strategic margin expansion before taking on her current role of vice president, corporate strategy. Prior to joining Land O’Lakes, Thea spent time consulting in Poland and working in marketing at General Mills.
As we increase our focus and speed on growth, we are pleased to have Thea deeply involved in helping us choose the right path to our bright future.