Simplot Names Lofto President, CEO

Published online: May 15, 2018 Articles
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The J.R. Simplot Company has named Garrett Lofto as its president and CEO. Lofto has been the president of the company’s agribusiness group since 2009 and has spent 26 years working for Simplot. He succeeds Bill Whitacre, who announced his retirement in April after nine years as president and CEO.

“Garrett is an outstanding leader and has the vision to guide the company into an exciting future,” says Scott Simplot, chairman of the company’s board of directors. “We’re well-positioned for success across our organization, and the Simplot family and board of Directors are confident we’ve got the right leader to help us achieve great things.”

Lofto is the seventh president and CEO since company founder Jack Simplot retired in 1973. He attended the University of Manitoba, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture; he received his MBA in 2005. Lofto sits on the board of directors of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Idaho, The Fertilizer Institute, Nutrients for Life Foundation and the International Plant Nutrition Institute. He was raised on a farm in southern Manitoba and has lived in Idaho since 2001. 

“I’m honored and humbled that the board and the Simplot family have entrusted me to lead this great organization as part of the senior leadership team,” says Lofto. “The company is filled with tremendous talent and leaders, and I’m committed to ensuring they have the support they need to make the J.R. Simplot Company the best we can be.” 

As president of the company’s agribusiness group, Lofto has guided a diverse and complex $2.5 billion operating division spanning a global marketplace. He successfully initiated and oversaw several major capital expansions while building a high-performing, industry-leading management team, positioning the company for long-term success and prosperity. Major accomplishments include the building and launch of a state-of-the-art ammonia plant and significant growth in Simplot Grower Solutions and Simplot Partners retail arms.

Whitacre retires after an 18-year career with the J. R. Simplot Company, the past nine as president and CEO. 

“Bill has been a highly successful and visionary leader who has helped the J.R. Simplot Company reach new heights and expand our global presence,” says Scott Simplot. “The company, the board and the extended Simplot family thank him for his leadership and commitment.”

As CEO, Whitacre has expanded Simplot’s international footprint and enhanced its position with communities, industries, customers and employees. By strengthening the company’s competitive position and growing its global presence, Whitacre has overseen an increase in revenues from approximately $4.5 billion to $6 billion today.

Lofto will assume his role as president and CEO on Sept. 1. The company has begun a thorough search to fill his role in agribusiness.