3 with inside connections picked as outside directors Archer Daniels' move perplexes some critics

April 20, 1996|By BLOOMBERG BUSINESS NEWS

DECATUR, Ill. -- Archer Daniels Midland Co. has nominated three outsiders with ties to the company's current leadership to join its board in October.

The Decatur, Ill.-based corn and soybean processor tapped the daughter of a current executive and two men who have other connections to Archer Daniels Chairman and Chief Executive Dwayne Andreas.

Shareholders who have criticized insider domination of the Archer Daniels board were perplexed.

"We would have hoped, given the history with ADM, that new directors would be so independent that there would be no element of their independence that requires explanation or footnotes," said Ash Williams, executive director of the Florida State Board of Administration.

Archer Daniels named Mollie Hale Carter, a John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Co. senior investment officer; Richard Burt, former U.S. ambassador to Germany; and John Block, former U.S. secretary of agriculture, as directors.

The three nominees couldn't be reached for comment. Archer Daniels declined comment on their ties to the company or on the selection process.

Investors said they were trying to learn more about the nominees and they said Archer Daniels was making a better effort to communicate with shareholders.

Pub Date: 4/20/96

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