Mosaic CEO to take leave for cancer surgery

U.S. fertilizer firm and Saskatchewan potash miner Mosaic Co. has named an interim CEO while its Canadian-raised chief executive takes medical leave for cancer surgery.

Jim Prokopanko announced Thursday he’ll take a six- to eight-week medical leave of absence effective June 1, after which Larry Stranghoener, the company’s chief financial officer, will step in as interim CEO.

Stranghoener, 60, has been Mosaic’s CFO since the company was formed in 2004 from the fertilizer businesses of Cargill and IMC Global.

“It is in Mosaic’s best interest, and mine, that I focus on my health during the six- to eight-week period that my doctors tell me I should expect to be out of the office for surgery and recovery,” said Prokopanko, who announced in March he would stay on the job but cutting back on travel while undergoing chemotherapy. [Related story]

The company has not disclosed what type of cancer Prokopanko has.

Stranghoener, the company said Thursday, has also announced he plans to retire at the end of 2014. Mosaic’s general counsel and corporate secretary, Richard Mack, will replace Stranghoener as CFO effective June 1.

Upon Prokopanko’s return, Mosaic said, Stranghoener will serve as the company’s executive vice-president for strategy and business development. Mack, who came from Cargill in 2004 as one of Mosaic’s founding executives, will also take on the strategy and business development duties after Stranghoener’s retirement.

Mack, in Mosaic’s release Thursday, hailed Stranghoener as “integral to every meaningful step Mosaic has taken — from our newly-formed, non-investment grade days to the fully-independent, high-performing company we are today.” — Network


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