Garrett Lofto has been named president and chief executive officer of the J.R. Simplot Company in Boise.
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 at the helm and 18 years in all at the now-$6 billion company. Lofto will take over in his new position Sept. 1.
Lofto is the seventh president and CEO since company founder Jack Simplot retired in 1973. He attended the University of Manitoba in Canada, graduating with a BS in agriculture, and he received an MBA in 2005. Lofto sits on the boards 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.
The company said in a prepared release that as president of Simplot’s agribusiness group, Lofto has guided a diverse and complex $2.5 billion global division and has overseen several major capital expansions, including the building and launch of an ammonia plant and significant growth in Simplot Grower Solutions and Simplot Partners retail arms.
“Garrett is an outstanding leader and has the vision to guide the company into an exciting future,” said Scott Simplot, the company’s board chairman. The company is now searching for the person to fill his role in the agribusiness division.
J.R. Simplot is a privately held firm that includes phosphate mining, fertilizer manufacturing, farming, ranching and cattle production, food processing, food brands, and other enterprises related to agriculture with major operations in U.S., Canada, Mexico, Australia, and China. It hasproducts marketed in more than 40 countries worldwide.