ZURICH, Oct 24 (Reuters) - Syngenta’s new chief executive does not necessarily need to come from outside the company and big strategy changes would be “inopportune”, the chairman of the Swiss agrochemicals group told a local newspaper on Saturday.
Chief Executive Mike Mack stepped down as Syngenta’s CEO earlier this week just two months after the company spurned a $47 billion takeover approach from U.S. rival Monsanto.
Stocks rose on investor hopes that Syngenta would “appoint an industry insider -- but outside person -- with a fresh viewpoint on Syngenta,” as financial analysis firm Kepler Cheuvreux wrote in a briefing note.
But Syngenta Chairman Michel Demare told Swiss newspaper Finanz und Wirtschaft investors should not expect major changes in direction, saying the company was already sharply focused and well-positioned.
He said Mack’s successor should be someone who “dynamises the organisation, sparks new enthusiasm and introduces ideas” without realigning company strategy.
Some industry analysts said the change might rekindle bid speculation because Mack’s seat on the board of directors would also open up.
But Demare said Mack’s seat does not need to be filled immediately. “The board of directors is also very able to act with nine members,” he was quoted as saying.
A source close to the company told Reuters on Wednesday it was unlikely for the board’s attitude to a takeover to change.
John Ramsay, the company’s chief financial officer who will become interim chief executive when Mack steps down at the end of the month, has not been given a board seat. (Reporting by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi; Editing by Helen Popper)