LONDON, Jan 13 (Reuters) - Selina Yang has been appointed as chief operating officer of COFCO Agri, the international grains business of China’s state run COFCO group, according to an internal memo from the division seen by Reuters.
Yang will be responsible for the global grains, oilseeds and cotton business, having previously been head of business integration with the parent group COFCO.
COFCO Group said last week that Matt Jansen had resigned as CEO of COFCO Agri - 18 months after joining. It named COFCO vice president Jingtao Chi, who is known as Johnny, as chief executive of both COFCO Agri Ltd and COFCO International Ltd to succeed Jansen.
The changes come after a tough year for global commodity traders, with bumper crops in major growing nations like the United States pressuring prices of corn and soybeans and intensifying competition among merchants.
Officials at COFCO Agri and the parent group could not be immediately reached for comment.
The memo also named the heads of business segments who will report to Yang including Crawford Tatum, its global head of cotton.
Two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters last week that Kevin Brassington, COFCO Agri’s global head of grains and oilseeds, had also left, which was confirmed in the memo.
COFCO has been on a major global expansion drive in recent years, investing over $3 billion to buy Noble Group’s agribusiness as well as a large stake in Dutch grain trader Nidera.
Since first investing in Nidera in 2014, COFCO has had several setbacks, including a $150 million financial hole in its Latin American operations and $200 million in unauthorized trading losses on its biofuels desk. (Reporting by Jonathan Saul and Nigel Hunt in London and Dominique Patton in Beijing; Editing by Veronica Brown and Keith Weir)