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Syngenta appoints new global head of flowers business


June 12, 2020
By Syngenta Flowers

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Michael Kester (left) and Mark Schermer (right). Michael Kester will retire at the end of 2020 after 42 years at Syngenta. Mark Schermer is appointed as his successor as global head of Syngenta Flowers from September 1, 2020.

Enkhuizen / Netherlands, June 12, 2020 – Today, Syngenta Flowers announces that Michael Kester will retire at the end of 2020 after 42 years at Syngenta. Mark Schermer is appointed as his successor as global head of Syngenta Flowers from September 1, 2020.

Michael Kester has dedicated his entire career to Syngenta. He has held senior roles in the Crop Protection business in Africa, Germany, Argentina and Japan. He then led the Vegetable Seeds business in Europe, Africa and Middle East, and subsequently the Syngenta organization in Benelux. In the last three years as head of Syngenta Flowers, he has built a strong foundation for the future growth of Syngenta’s Flowers business.

“I would like to thank Michael for his outstanding contribution to Syngenta and to agriculture,” said Matthew Johnston, Head Vegetable Seeds and Flowers at Syngenta. “In the last three years, Michael has led the transformation of our Flowers business, delivering sales growth and leading three strategic acquisitions to further strengthen our world-leading Flowers portfolio. I’d like to thank Michael for his leadership and partnership and wish him a very long and happy retirement.”

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Mark Schermer joined Syngenta in January 2018 as Head Flowers Marketing for Europe, and then was appointed Head of Flowers Europe in May 2019.  Mark has successfully led the transformation of the Flowers marketing and commercial organizations in the region and brings significant leadership experience in the flowers industry to his new role. Mark will be based at Syngenta’s global Seeds office in Downers Grove, Illinois, US.

Matthew Johnston said: “We are excited to appoint Mark as the new head of our Flowers business. Mark’s depth of industry experience and strong leadership will enable us to continue to drive our strategy to bring our growers the world-leading products, service and innovation they need. The industry has suffered significantly during the Covid-19 situation, and this makes us even more determined to do all we can to help and support our customers, many of whom we know are fighting for their livelihoods.”

“I am extremely honoured and look forward to continuing the path that Michael has paved for Syngenta Flowers,” said Mark Schermer. “Michael has done a great job in reshaping our business and putting focus on growers’ needs. I am proud to be given the opportunity to lead this team of talented and passionate people who are committed to bring innovative products and smart solutions to our customers.”

Michael Kester about the change: “Working in the Flowers business has been a great chapter in my Syngenta book. Flowers is definitely more complex than the other businesses, but absolutely more colourful.  Mark is a true leader and has a wealth of knowledge of our global flowers industry.  It makes me happy to see our flowers organization getting the right shape, ready for the future, with the right people and the right passion.”