With the notable exception of Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook, it's hard to name any executives with significant supply chain management experience who have reached the corner offices of Fortune 500 corporations. But Beth E. Ford has managed to make it.
Ford, 54, was named late last week as president and CEO of Land O'Lakes, Inc., a 97-year-old member-owned agricultural co-operative with annual revenues of more than $14 billion. She officially takes over tomorrow.
Ford has been with Arden Hills, Minn.-based Land O'Lakes since January 2012, when she was hired as executive vice president, chief supply chain and operations officer. Ford was promoted in November 2015 to be group executive vice president and chief operating officer, where, among other responsibilities, she ran the company's supply chain. Last December, she was named COO for all of Land O'Lakes' businesses.
Prior to joining Land O'Lakes, Ford spent nearly four years running the supply of International Flavors and Fragrances Inc., the multi-national cosmetics giant.
During her years running Land O'Lakes' supply chain, Ford was a familiar presence at conferences, appearing on numerous panels. She also has the distinction of being the first openly gay female CEO of a Fortune 500 company.