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InVivo CEO Gollier to Resign at Largest French Farm Cooperative

Patrice Gollier, chief executive officer of Union InVivo, France’s largest agricultural cooperative, will resign from his job effective July 1 due to family health concerns.

Gollier, 62, is quitting because his wife has a “serious health problem,” the Paris-based company said in an e-mailed statement today. Deputy CEO Jerome Duchalais will replace him temporarily and InVivo will name a new CEO “who knows our universe well” on June 27, the company said.

“The work already started to ensure his succession has been accelerated,” said InVivo, the country’s biggest shipper of wheat.

The CEO’s departure comes after InVivo placed Didier Nedelec, head of grains, and Pierre Duclos, head of international trading, on leave in February following a drop in earnings, with Gollier temporarily taking over the grains unit.

Operating profit fell 70 percent to 14.3 million euros ($19 million) in the 2011-12 fiscal year, while sales dropped 6.7 percent to 5.67 billion euros. Profit and sales at InVivo Grains suffered from “extreme market volatility,” with revenue at the unit falling 21 percent to 2.2 billion euros, the company said in December.

The new CEO will start this autumn, according to InVivo. Gollier will remain “in close contact” as long as necessary for a smooth transition, the company said.

Gollier became chief executive in 2007 following three years as deputy CEO, having risen through the corporate ranks after joining a predecessor company to InVivo in 1981.

The company said Gollier “strongly contributed” to fundamental changes with InVivo’s strategy and creating an efficient organization.

“We would already like to thank Patrice Gollier for the tremendous work he has done with his teams during his six years of general management, and more broadly, his 32 years within the group,” InVivo wrote.

The Frenchman is chairman of the supervisory board of Hamburg-based grain trader Alfred C. Toepfer International GmbH, which is 20 percent owned by InVivo with the remainder held by Archer-Daniels-Midland Co.

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