From Commodities to Customers

Wayne G. Broehl, Jr.

This final volume of Wayne G. Broehl, Jr.’s Cargill trilogy brings the history of this large privately held company up to the present day, offering a unique and informative behind-the-scenes look at one of the world’s premier agribusiness corporations. The story picks up in 1977 as Whitney MacMillan begins his stewardship of the company and as Cargill begins to work its way through issues of corporate governance, business restructuring, and generational transitions within the owning families. MacMillan leads the company through great growth, diversification, and globalization. Broehl also discusses the changes at Cargill under two non-family CEOs, Ernest Micek and Warren Staley. Together, they transform the organization from a commodity-oriented entity to a customer-focused one.

Cloth: $40
ISBN-13: 9781584656944
Pages: 368 | Size: 6 in. x 9 in.
Date Published: April 30, 2008


  • [H]ow a 135-year-old company can be changed . . .

    Journal of Economic Literature
  • I had much to do with agriculture during my twelve years as a U.S. Senator. No company executives—agricultural or otherwise—came through the doors of my Senate office with the consistent competency of those from Cargill. Interestingly, most I met spent their entire career at the Company. Through knowing them and their chairman, Whitney MacMillan, I became an enormous admirer of their company. Referring to Whitney MacMillan's Chairmanship, the author says "the mosaic of his accomplishments are staggering." This fascinating third volume tells of that mosaic, the building of a global company the vision of which went beyond profits to improving the diets and lives of billions.

    The Hon. Rudy Boschwitz
    former U.S. Senator (R-MN) and former Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights
  • The book makes the amazing recent transformation of this agrifood leader into much more than a revealing history; it stands as an instructive guide to how a business built on commodity trading becomes the global powerhouse along the entire food processing and distribution chain. Cargill's amazing transformation, described so well by Professor Broehl, emerges as the product of family and outside executives who insisted that the company's culture and strategies must change in response to global shifts.

    Morton Sosland
    editor-in-chief, Milling and Baking News

About the Author

Wayne G. Broehl

Wayne G. Broehl, Jr. (1922-2006) was the Benjamin Ames Kimball Professor of the Science of Administration Emeritus, Amos Tuck School of Business Administration, Dartmouth College. He wrote a number of books on business history, management theory, and economic development, including two previous books on the history of Cargill, and the award-winning Mollie Maguires, and John Deere’s Company.

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