Deere Names Hans W. Becherer as Chairman and CEO
MOLINE, Ill. (AP) _ Deere & Co. elevated its president Hans W. Becherer to company chairman Wednesday, succeeding Robert A. Hanson, who is retiring.
Becherer, 55, also retains the position of chief executive officer, to which he was named in August. Hanson, 65, had announced his retirement as chairman effective Friday.
Deere’s board of directors also promoted three other top company officials.
″This newly elected leadership ... is the same group of executives who have been actively involved in the development of the current strategic focus of Deere & Co.,″ said spokesman Robert J. Combs.
John E. McGinty, an analyst with New York-based First Boston Corp., said the management changes were expected. He said the significant move came when Becherer was named chief executive officer.
Among other changes, the farm and heavy equipment manufacturer’s board named David H. Stowe Jr., 53, as president and chief operating officer. Stowe has served as Deere’s executive vice president for worldwide agricultural equipment and consumer products.
Bill C. Harpole, 56, was elected to succeed Stowe, while Harpole’s former job of senior vice president for the worldwide parts and logistics division went to Bernard L. Hardiek, 50, who has been Deere’s vice president for business development, planning and taxation.
″Under Bob Hanson’s guidance, Deere & Co. met the tremendous challenges of the 1980s in our major market, the U.S. farm economy, and emerged as a stronger, more productive organization,″ Becherer said in a statement.
″We look forward to the challenge of extending Deere & Co.’s long history of leadership and excellence.″
Becherer joined Deere in 1962 and served in various posts covering operations in Europe, Latin America, Australia and the Far East.
He joined the company’s board of directors in February 1986 and was elected president and chief operating officer in April 1987. He was elected president and chief executive officer in August 1989.
In the past fiscal year, which ended Oct. 31, Deere had net income of $380 million on revenue of $7.2 billion. The company has plants in eight countries.