John May has been tapped by the board of directors for Deere & Company as its new CEO, putting him in charge of the equipment giant as it tries to navigate a turbulent farm economy.
May will succeed Samuel Allen as CEO effective Nov. 4. Allen will continue to serve as chairman of the board of directors after he steps down from the CEO position; May has been made a board member effective immediately.
In a Deere release, Allen said May's "record of success and proven leadership skills make him highly qualified to lead Deere and guide its success in the years ahead.”
May joined the company in 1997 and became part of the senior management team in 2012 when he was named president of Deere’s agricultural solutions division and chief information officer. He became president of Deere’s Worldwide Agriculture & Turf Division last year, a position that oversees the Americas and Australia as well as the global harvesting, turf and utility, crop care platforms, and intelligent solutions group.
Earlier in his career with Deere, May headed the company’s China operations, served as a factory manager at the Dubuque Works facility, and was vice president of the turf and utility platform.
Before taking the position of CEO, May has served as Deere’s president and chief operating officer since April 2019, and will become the 10th chief executive in the company’s 182-year history.
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