Berkshire’s CTB Unit Names Niemeyer as Operating Chief

CTB Inc., the farm-product business owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., named Doug Niemeyer as chief operating officer, responsible for units related to grain, poultry, egg and pig production.

Niemeyer was previously general manager of CTB’s Brock Grain Systems business unit and will report to Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Victor Mancinelli in the newly created position, according to a statement today from the Milford, Indiana-based company. The change is effective Jan. 1.

CTB has won praise from Buffett, Berkshire’s 83-year-old chairman and CEO, as it expanded with acquisitions from Iowa to the Netherlands. In 2010, he said the business was on a farming “superhighway.” Neimeyer is taking the new role as the producer of grain storage systems and poultry-processing equipment seeks to bolster its leadership ranks and expand globally, according to the statement.

“Having achieved record sales and growth, the time has come to split day-to-day management of the business from general management direction,” Mancinelli said.

Niemeyer started at CTB in 2000 as general manager of the company’s egg-production systems business, according to the statement. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering, as well as an MBA, from Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.

BNSF Railway, one of Berkshire’s largest subsidiaries, also announced a change in leadership this week. Matt Rose, who has led the railroad for the last 13 years, will take the title of executive chairman on Jan. 1 as he hands day-to-day operations to Carl Ice, a 34-year veteran of the Fort Worth, Texas-based business.

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