Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC) announced the surprise resignations of its chief executive and head of finance on 25 September, prompting a reshuffle at the commodities giant as it strives to recover from weak agricultural markets, the New York Times reported.

LDC said that Gonzalo Ramirez Martiarena (pictured) had resigned as CEO after three years in the post to pursue other opportunities, and Armand Lumens had decided to leave for personal reasons following less than two years in his role.

A spokeswoman said the resignations were "unrelated and coincidental".

British national Ian McIntosh, previously chief strategy officer, has been appointed CEO with immediate effect, and Federico Cerisoli, previously deputy chief financial officer (CFO), has become group CFO.

As part of the ‘ABCD’ group of agribusiness giants that included Archer Daniels Midland, Bunge and Cargill, Louis Dreyfus had experienced several management changes in recent years under chairperson and majority shareholder Margarita Louis-Dreyfus, the New York Times said.

“Those changes have occurred in the midst of a general downturn in agricultural markets that has prompted multinational firms to restructure operations and fuelled speculation about industry consolidation.”

The family-owned group reported higher profits for 2017, citing progress in restructuring efforts, but was facing financial pressure after injecting US$1bn in March into its debt-laden Brazilian sugar unit Biosev, the report said.

A year ago, several senior traders – led by the former global head of grains – left LDC to join a trading firm set up by other members of the Louis Dreyfus family.

Margarita Louis-Dreyfus said Ramirez had "successfully fulfilled his mandate of putting the group in its current solid financial position and creating the conditions for the company's next phase of growth.