World Grain - July 2018 - 30
FEATURE: THE ANDERSONS SEEK STABILITY THROUGH CHANGE
Rasesh Shah, a 40-year veteran of The Andersons.
Irmen was promoted after holding multiple positions
within the company the previous 30 years.
In November 2015, Bowe succeeded as CEO
Michael J. Anderson, who had been with the company
since 1978 and had been CEO for 17 years.
Buoyed by a boom in the ag and ethanol markets,
shares of The Andersons more than tripled between 2011
and 2013 to more than $60 a share, and then fell to a low
of just over $23 in February 2016. The share price has
recovered somewhat, closing recently at $32.70.
"The grain business went from a great period to a
tough period, but it was not just grain for us," he said.
"It was fertilizer, grain and ethanol (that) all underperformed here in the last couple of years. So, we're looking for how we can improve the bottom line of the
company, and we are asking our leadership team to be
change agents. Not that we were broken or had a catastrophe. It was just that times were tough. I imagine the
other ag companies would tell you something similar.
So, we've been in more of a turnaround mode."
The Andersons' roots date back to the 1940s when
Harold and Margaret Anderson opened a grain elevator in Maumee. The business grew initially through
the addition of grain storage as well as expansion into
fertilizer blending and the opening of a retail store.
Additional grain handling and fertilizer facilities were
added in the 1960s and 1970s. In the 1980s, outside
directors joined the company's board of directors, and
in the 1990s its shares were listed on the NASDAQ
exchange with the majority of the board comprised of
independent directors. Also during the 1990s, the company entered the rail car leasing business, and in the
2000s, into the ethanol business.
THE 5 P'S
While the overall structure of The Andersons business
remains nearly the same as when Bowe became CEO
in late 2015, change has been instituted across several
aspects of the business.
"We have put in place something I call the 5 P's," he
said. "Everybody reports on those every month."
The "P's" include Personal Safety, People, Partner of
July 2018 / World Grain / www.World-Grain.com