Agrium’s Chuck Magro to Replace Mike Wilson as CEO

Agrium Inc., the largest U.S. farm-products retailer, said Chief Operating Officer Chuck Magro will succeed Mike Wilson as chief executive officer at the beginning of the year.

Magro will join the board immediately and Wilson, 62, will retire from the company at the end of the year after 10 years as CEO, Calgary-based Agrium said today in a statement.

Magro, who has been COO since 2012, also served in other roles in the company including executive vice president of corporate development, according to the statement. He has a Master’s of Business Administration from the University of Windsor, the company said.

Under Wilson, Agrium beat back a proxy challenge from activist investor Jana Partners LLC in April. Jana, Agrium’s largest shareholder, had been pushing the company to spin off its retail division, a network of agricultural outlets that sells seeds, fertilizer and crop-protection chemicals to farmers.

Agrium said last month that third-quarter earnings before interest and taxes for its wholesale fertilizer business would be $200 million less than a year earlier. The unit makes nitrogen, potash and phosphate-based products and accounted for 31 percent of revenue last year, compared with 66 percent from the retail business.

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