By Rod Nickel and Arunima Kumar
(Reuters) -Canada’s Nutrien Ltd, the world’s largest potash fertilizer producer, named Ken Seitz as chief executive on Monday, removing the interim tag.
Nutrien in January surprised investors by replacing its CEO for the second time in eight months. It then named Seitz, the head of its potash business, as interim CEO, replacing Mayo Schmidt..
Fertilizer companies are raking in profits due to sanctions against Russia and Belarus, the world’s second- and third-largest potash fertilizer suppliers after Canada.
Seitz expects those eastern European supplies to remain restricted into 2023.
“There are a lot of moving parts, but a lot of uncertainty in an environment where the demand for nutrients is growing,” he said in an interview.
Nutrien earned a record $3.6 billion in the second quarter, more than tripling profit from a year earlier.
The company is expanding its Canadian potash production by 20% by 2025.
Rival BHP Group is building its first potash mine in Nutrien’s Canadian backyard and is open to taking on a partner. Seitz said his focus is on Nutrien’s business.
Asked about the turnover prior to his appointment, Seitz said he expected the company’s recent stability to continue.
“If you step back and look at the way we have been executing on our business, we’ve been doing that consistently,” he said.
Seitz joined Nutrien as executive vice president in charge of potash operations in 2019. He previously led Canpotex, a potash export company owned by Nutrien and Mosaic Co.
(Reporting by Arunima Kumar in Bengaluru and Rod Nickel in Winnipeg; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Cynthia Osterman)