CHICAGO — Archer Daniels Midland Co. said sales and commercial staff members of ADM Milling Co. will be relocated to ADM’s North American headquarters in Decatur, Illinois, from ADM Milling offices in Overland Park, Kansas.

Several of ADM’s Overland Park employees have been offered the opportunity to relocate to Decatur, others will remain in Overland Park, and remaining positions, mostly in administration and transportation, have been eliminated.

The move comes against a backdrop in which ADM has told employees globally it is planning “a range of actions” to bolster its business. These include a voluntary early retirement program available to eligible employees and “realigning our organization worldwide.”

Responding to an inquiry from Milling & Baking News, Jackie Anderson, director of external communications with ADM, said the change at ADM Milling was part of the corporation’s “continued strategic alignment and investment in ADM’s North American Milling business.”

Regarding the job eliminations, Anderson cited synergies with roles in Decatur.

“Overall services are not being cut from milling,” she said. “Customers will actually see enhanced services and capabilities as a result of this move. We combined our corn processing and wheat milling business under one business unit last year, and we see significant synergies and benefits in combining the sales and commercial teams in one office location as well. Our milling risk management, trading and technical service teams will continue to be based in Overland Park.”

The realignment Anderson referenced was announced in March 2018 and divided ADM’s business units into four segments — Carbohydrate Solutions, Nutrition, Oilseeds and Origination. Carbohydrate Solutions include the corn and milling businesses and are led by Christopher M. Cuddy, who previously was president of corn processing. Cuddy currently is a senior vice-president at ADM and president of the Carbohydrate Solutions business unit. He is a member of the company's Executive Council.

As part of the change last year, Mark L. Kolkhorst, who had been president of ADM Milling since 2012, was reassigned to lead what Anderson called a “significant business transformation effort,” and no new president of ADM Milling has been named to succeed him.

Anderson said milling business executives who formerly reported to Kolkhorst now report directly to Cuddy. He said that with the addition of milling to his portfolio of businesses to oversee, he chose to “lead milling directly to learn the business.”

“I made a conscious decision to be very hands-on and chose to personally lead the milling team,” Cuddy said. “Our milling business has significant opportunity for growth, especially as we align it with our corn processing teams, and my goal has been to intimately learn the business so I can best advise on how to strategically grow and improve our milling operations.”

Anderson also confirmed that ADM plans to sell the office building occupied by ADM Milling. ADM Milling has been based in the metropolitan Kansas City area since before 1970, when the company expanded greatly with the acquisition of Western Star Mill Co. and other milling interests of the Vanier family of Salina, Kansas. ADM Milling expanded further in the decades that followed, particularly with the acquisition of certain milling assets from The Pillsbury Co. in the 1990s. ADM Milling operations, the company’s Econo Flo unit, were based out of Salina for many years. A plan to move ADM Milling headquarters to Decatur from Kansas was announced by the company in 2001, but the decision was reversed shortly afterward.

Looking forward, Cuddy cited the recent completion of a major mill upgrade and the pending completion of a completely new mill as indicative of the company’s commitment to flour milling.

“We see tremendous potential in our milling business and are making significant capital investments to grow the business long term,” he said. “Last year, we completed the modernization of our mill in Enid, Oklahoma, and we expect to begin operations at our new high-capacity, modern mill in Mendota, Illinois, later this year. Realigning our resources and taking advantage of other synergies within our Carbohydrate Solutions business unit help put ADM Milling in an even better place to thrive and grow long term.”

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