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Beth Ford      

President & CEO of Land O'Lakes; First Openly Gay Woman to Lead a Fortune 500 Company

Beth Ford is President and Chief Executive Officer at Land O’Lakes, Inc. Ford proudly leads the nearly 100-year-old farmer- and local retailer-owned cooperative that also ranks No. 216 on the Fortune 500 list. Although best known for its No. 1 selling butter brand, Land O’Lakes, Inc. business units span the farm-to-fork continuum from seed to feed to food, in addition to focusing on ag tech and consultation services to help farmers grow more with less.

Ford stepped into the role after a series of successful executive postings within the company she joined in 2011. Most recently, as executive vice president and chief operating officer for Land O’Lakes Businesses. Ford was responsible for the Purina Animal Nutrition, U.S. Dairy Foods and WinField United businesses, which reported 2017 net sales totaling $14 billion. Prior to that, Ford was head of Land O’Lakes’ Dairy Foods and Purina Animal Nutrition businesses, and during her tenure she led record performance, leveraging innovation through R&D to strengthen the Purina brand and record growth in the Dairy business. She was key in identifying the opportunity to acquire Vermont Creamery in early 2017.

In her more than 30 years of experience as a global operator, Ford has held senior and line leadership positions in seven companies across six industries, including Energy (Mobil Oil), Consumer Packaged Goods (Pepsi/Pepsi Bottling Group), QSR (Perseco), Publishing (Scholastic and Hachette), Chemicals (International Flavors and Fragrances) and now Food Production and Agribusiness.

Ford is the first openly gay woman to lead a Fortune 500 company. She's also one of just 25 women on the list overall. Her promotion to chief executive officer is being hailed as a victory for advocates of LGBT rights.

She is a part of the 2021 Forbes Power Women's Summit.


Beth Ford, Land O'Lakes CEO, becomes first openly gay Fortune ...
Beth Ford, the newly-appointed CEO of Land O'Lakes, became the first openly gay woman to lead a Fortune 500 company on Wednesday. She's also one of just ...

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