CEO retires after leading company to top of cattle genetics industry

John Schouten will retire this July after helping Visalia-based World Wide Sires see 500% growth during his 21 years at the helm

VISALIA – A Visalia company which has grown into a leader in the cattle genetics industry has announced the man who led them there is retiring.

John Schouten
CEO World Wide Sires Ltd.

John Schouten announced earlier this month he will retire as CEO of World Wide Sires Ltd. this July after 21 years at the helm and 35 years with the company. Visalia-based World Wide Sires is the international marketing arm of Select Sires Inc., the largest global artificial insemination cooperative. Based in Plain City, Ohio, Select Sires provides highly fertile bull semen, as well as excellence in service and programs to supply dairy and beef producers with the world’s best genetics.

“John’s unwavering principles are the bedrock for his team’s mission as they travel to over 90 countries to introduce U.S. genetics and advance the profitability of dairy and beef farmers,” Select Sires CEO David Thorbahn said.

Schouten is recognized worldwide in the cattle genetics industry and his time at WWS has transformed the global business. His leadership style can be best understood by his mantra: “Take care of our customers. Take care of each other. Stay focused.” Under Schouten’s leadership, the World Wide Sires business has grown more than 500 percent in the last 21 years, and the many tenured, long-term employees are a testament to the culture he created within the company.

“It has been my privilege to work with John and I appreciate his tremendous leadership as CEO over the past 20 years,” said Todd Kranz, chief development officer for Select Sires Inc. “With his guidance, the WWS team has experienced unprecedented growth. John leaves the team in a great position to continue to serve producers around the globe.”

In addition to Schouten’s retirement, continued growth and development of the World Wide Sires, Select Sires Inc., and its product lines, Accelerated Genetics, GenerVations and Select Sires brands, and businesses around the globe has led to leadership changes and restructuring of the Visalia company.

Under guidance from Schouten and the World Wide Sires board, the global export teams for Select Sires and World Wide Sires have been working to merge management responsibilities for Central and South America, since Jan. 1, 2021. The combined management team will consolidate resources to better serve customers, distributors and subsidiaries. This management team will report to Todd Kranz, chairman of the WWS board of directors and CDO at Select Sires Inc.

“We have a dedicated, passionate and smart team that understands this business and appreciates the international work. That is quite a gift,” Schouten said. “The new leadership structure will position World Wide Sires for continued growth and expansion. I truly believe the best days for World Wide Sires still lie ahead.”

Several new positions have been created because of these changes. The leadership for World Wide Sires will consist of: Gilles Florid, senior vice president, international marketing and subsidiaries; Scott Ruby, senior vice president, international sales and product management; Bill Young, senior vice president, international strategy and subsidiaries; Jeff Reidman, vice president of Latin American sales and trusted advisors; Tony Evangelo, vice president of WWS-Visalia operations; and Wayne Conrad, vice president of international global dairy solutions.

The remaining members of the WWS board include Chris England, secretary of the board and chief financial officer (CFO) at Select Sires Inc., as well as farmer board members, Dorothy Harms, Dr. Mark Tatarka, Randy Kortus, Duane Koester, Lyle Ott and Brent Czech.

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