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Sugar group Tereos changes CEO for third time in two years

FILE PHOTO: The Tereos logo is displayed at a sugar beet processing plant in Chevrieres

PARIS (Reuters) - Tereos, the world's second-largest sugar producer, said on Tuesday its chief executive officer Ludwig de Mot would step down at the end of this month, the third CEO to leave the company in less than two years.

The French cooperative group has seen repeated senior management changes and a deep review in its strategy since late 2020 when a long-running internal feud led to the ousting of its chairman and CEO.

Chief Executive Officer Philippe de Raynal had left the group after less than a year at the helm and was replaced by de Mot in April.

Tereos said the board of directors and de Mot had agreed not to renew his mandate which it qualified as "interim" on Tuesday, a term the company had not used at the time of his appointment.

De Mot will be replaced by Gerard Clay, chairman of the board of directors, as managing director pending a replacement, Tereos said in a statement.

"The Board of Directors confirms the continuity of the Group's strategy defined since 2021 and continues, together with the operational teams, the transformation trajectory that is enabling the Group to record tangible results," it said.

Tereos, also an ethanol and starch producer with large activities in Brazil, reported last month a surge in core earnings for its first quarter ended June 30, as high market prices offset rising raw material and energy costs, but had warned soaring costs could lead to higher debt in the 2022/23 fiscal year.

Gwenael Elies, who held the fort until de Mot's appointment, is appointed deputy managing director and remains in charge of finance, information systems, legal affairs, tax and compliance, and human resources, Tereos said.

(Reporting by Sybille de La Hamaide and Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)