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UPDATE 1-Corteva says CEO James Collins Jr to retire

·1 min read

(Adds details on Collins, background)

June 23 (Reuters) - Pesticide and seed maker Corteva Inc said on Wednesday Chief Executive Officer James Collins Jr will retire, months after activist investor Starboard Value LP had sought his ouster.

Starboard had nominated eight directors to the board of Corteva in January, seeking to oust Collins and take control of the company. In March, the activist investor settled after Corteva agreed to appoint three new independent directors backed by Starboard.

The hedge fund, led by Jefferey Smith, had last year criticized Corteva's financial performance, noting its cash flow margin lagged behind peers and its share price could be higher.

Corteva said Collins will retire effective Dec. 31 after more than 37 years with the company and its predecessor, DuPont.

Collins, credited with leading the integration of legacy DuPont and Dow agricultural businesses and then the eventual spin off Corteva in 2019, has agreed to continue as CEO while an external search for his successor is underway, the company added.

Corteva also said it was on track to deliver its financial commitments for the first half of 2021. (Reporting by Arathy S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)