Allen Andreas: A Tough Row To Hoe

It's the end of an era. On Jan. 25, Dwayne Andreas, 80, the autocratic head of Archer Daniels Midland for 28 years, resigned as chairman. He handed the reins to nephew Allen, a law school graduate who was named CEO in 1997.

Wish him luck. Times have been tough for commodity producers. Earnings have fallen 38% in three years, and the stock is at 1995 levels. ADM's $3.5 billion in recent investment has not paid off. "It has been a Roach Motel," says Prudential's John M. McMillin. "Capital goes in, but returns don't come out."

Also galling to investors is that ADM is run like a private company--with limited disclosure. It's up to Allen Andreas to change that--and as CEO, he has started. Earnings news comes out faster, and he is also more accessible to big investors. "I think he's more apt to take advice," says Sarah Teslik of the Council of Institutional Investors.

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