Ag Growth International Inc. today announced that Tim Close has stepped down as president and chief executive officer and resigned as a director of AGI to pursue other opportunities. The Board of Directors has named Paul Householder, AGI's current chief operating officer, as president and chief executive officer. Close has agreed to remain with the Company in an advisory role through year-end to ensure a smooth transition.
"On behalf of the Board and everyone at AGI, I want to thank Tim for his service and passionate dedication to AGI and all of its stakeholders and for his tremendous leadership and highly valued contributions to AGI's strong position today," said Bill Lambert, chair of the board. "Tim joined the company in August 2012 as vice president, strategic planning and development, was appointed president in March of 2015 and became president and chief executive officer in January 2016. He has played an instrumental role in the evolution of the Company over his tenure, spearheading the acquisition of over 25 businesses, initiating the Company's strategic entry into the digital agriculture space, building an outstanding senior leadership team and in the process transforming AGI from a regional manufacturer of grain handling equipment to a diversified truly global food infrastructure leader."
Lambert added, "We are fortunate to have Paul Householder stepping in to serve as our president and CEO. Paul joined AGI in 2019 after a long and successful career in the industrial chemicals sector where he ran substantial global businesses with multiple facilities across several geographies. Since joining the company Paul has earned the respect of our board of directors and is highly regarded throughout our organization. Recently, Paul has been leading projects designed to deepen the level of integration and optimization of our many businesses and his focus on operational excellence will serve us well. The board has full confidence in Paul's ability to lead AGI.”
Analysts at Desjardins, in a note to investors, stated that, while they were surprised by the news, they view it as a natural progression in the company's growth.
"The news comes as a bit of a surprise to us, given there had been no mention of a CEO transition in prior communications/quarterly calls," Desjardins analysts said. "That said, we do not believe this has any read-through to the company’s bin incident file or its meeting its >C$215m EBITDA guidance for 2022, but is more of a natural progression related to Ag Growth moving to the next phase focused on organic growth and integration of prior acquisitions, which should help improve margins back to the 17% range over time."