More on CEOs – qualities, education, behavior

My gosh! IFO could be a CEO! She only lacks one of the listed qualities on this cover of one of her favorite newspapers, the Houston Business Journal.

Sorry it is so big. We can’t figure out how to crop it and make it smaller. The cover story is an award-winning piece published in Nov. 2014. IFO missed it because she was traveling at that time.

When IFO is finished with this column, she intends to do a full review of CEOS running companies whose shares she owns in her own portfolio.

However, while perusing the news this morning, she came across an interesting takeover battle developing in the world of ag chemicals and seeds.

Monsanto (MON:NYSE), based in St. Louis, MO, MC: $53.7B, has sent an offer to Syngenta (SYT:NYSE), based in Basel, Switzerland, MC: 39.5B. She doesn’t own shares in either one, but finds this an interesting case study.

Let’s look at the CEOs. Nothing on height or birth order, but plenty to think about.

First up, let’s look at Monsanto. Board Chairman and CEO Hugh Grant (really! – but not the real Hugh Grant).

THIS Hugh Grant, profiled in today’s WSJ. Here’s his recent “Letter to Shareholders” Here’s his company biography.

And here’s a link to Monsanto’s discussion in a .pdf file of the proposed takeover. IFO’s takeaway from that presentation is to note that it hardly mentions Syngenta at all. Most of it is blah, blah, blah. There’s a great chart on p. 8, though, showing that just a tiny fraction (about 12%) of the Earth’s surface involves cultivated land.

On to Syngenta –

CEO Michael Mack is an American with international management experience and degrees from Kalamazoo College, Univ. of Strasbourg, and Harvard.

However, taking the lead on the Monsanto proposal is Syngenta Board Chairman, Michel Demaré, a Belgian citizen who has long had relationships with Swiss companies.

He has just taken the unusual step of appearing in a YouTube video explaining Syngenta’s reasons for the company’s multiple rejections of Monsanto merger proposals. If you are short of time, just watch the first 3-4 minutes, then skip to minute 12:00 and watch to the end, taking special note of M. Demaré’s major change in tone.


About InvestingforOne

I've been investing in various assets by myself using a discount broker for many years. Over that time, I've developed some theories that others might find useful. Plus, there is more to investing than money. Time, talent, work, friends, family all go into developing a good and satisfactory strategy.
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