IRVING, TEXAS — Darling Ingredients Inc., which turns byproducts into sustainable products such as animal proteins and meals and pet food ingredients, announced several changes to its executive management team.

Matt Jansen was named chief operating officer while Rick Elrod, executive vice president of US Rendering Operations, said he plans to retire in April 2024. Brandon Lairmore, currently senior vice president, North Central Region, will succeed Elrod.

Jansen joins Darling Ingredients from StepStone Group Inc., where he served as senior managing director. He has more than 30 years of executive management experience in the global agri/food industry. Prior roles included chief executive officer of Saudi Arabia Agriculture and Livestock Investment Company and chief executive officer of COFCO International, the overseas agriculture business platform for COFCO Corporation, China's largest food and agriculture company. Jansen also served in a number of executive roles at ADM including chief risk officer and senior vice president; president of ADM Global Oilseeds; president of ADM Grain Group; and president of ADM Brazil.

“Matt brings a breadth of experience to Darling Ingredients that will be extremely valuable in leading our US and Canada rendering operations as well as our renewables and specialty businesses, ensuring we deliver on the company's great potential,” said Randall C. Stuewe, chairman and chief executive officer.

Elrod, who will retire in April 2024, has been with the company for more than 30 years.

“On behalf of the board of directors, the management team and Darling’s 15,000 employees, I want to thank Rick for his three decades of contributions not only to Darling Ingredients, but the entire rendering industry,” Stuewe said.

Lairmore, who will succeed Elrod, joined Darling Ingredients in 2016 as the regional vice president for the North Central Region after nearly 20 years in the agriculture and meat processing industry, having held numerous operational leadership roles at Pilgrim's and Tyson Foods. He was promoted to senior vice president for the North Central Region in 2018.

Read more about personnel changes throughout the industry.