Oestreich will assume leadership of the world's largest seed business from Richard "Rick" McConnell, who announced his retirement earlier this month. A 30-year employee at Pioneer, Oestreich is the 10th president of the business founded by Henry A. Wallace in 1926.

"Pioneer has experienced back-to-back record years and is poised for strong continued growth," said Erik Fyrwald, group vice president, DuPont Agriculture & Nutrition. "It has exceptional people driven to serve customers with quality products, backed by a strong brand.

“With Dean's leadership, insights and extensive background with Pioneer, I'm confident the business will continue to deliver high value to customers, thereby achieving our goals of double-digit growth.

He said Dr. McConnell will continue to stay engaged in the seed business, following his retirement, remaining a powerful voice for Pioneer and the agricultural industry. McConnell is recognized around the world for his leadership in plant genetics and customer focus.

Oestreich joined Pioneer in 1974 as a corn breeder, quickly moving through the ranks to hold leadership roles in information management, production operations, international sales operations and North America business management. He was first named a Pioneer vice president in 1999.

Oestreich has a bachelor of science degree in agronomy from the University of Minnesota.

He is currently a director-at-large for the American Seed Trade Association, a director for the Chinese Cultural Center of America, and an advisor to the Iowa State University chairperson for Sustainable Agriculture.

Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., a subsidiary of DuPont, is the world's leading source of customized solutions for farmers, livestock producers, and grain and oilseed processors. With headquarters in Des Moines, Pioneer provides access to advanced plant genetics, crop protection solutions, and quality crop systems to customers.

e-mail: flaws@primediabusiness.com