Willowood USA Founder, CEO Heinze Steps Down; Successor Named
Willowood USA LLC, a leading agricultural business based in Broomfield, Colorado, announced today that Brian Heinze, who founded the company and led the business since its inception in 2009, has decided to step down from his position as CEO.
The Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Tony Arnold has been selected as the company’s new CEO.
During Heinze’s tenure, Willowood experienced significant growth, delivering high-quality, high-performing herbicide, fungicide, and insecticide products for the agriculture, and turf and ornamental markets. To help support Willowood’s rapid growth, he led the process in 2016 to secure a majority investment from Lariat Partners, a Denver-based private equity firm. For the past several months, he has worked very closely with Arnold on his succession planning, and relocating the company’s headquarters.
“A key step in the company’s evolution this year was relocating the headquarters operations to Broomfield, CO. The move will enable Willowood to attract key talent and better serve its customers,” Heinze said. “I am extremely proud of what the Willowood team has accomplished since 2009. The appointment of Arnold and relocation of the headquarters, best position the company for its next phase of growth.”
“I want to thank Brian for his vision and leadership over the past eight years. I also want to welcome Tony to the Willowood team. He is the right leader to position Willowood for continued growth,” said Kevin Mitchell, Chairman of Willowood’s Board of Directors and a Managing Partner for Lariat Partners. “Tony’s experience in building organizations, commercializing technology, and driving results fit perfectly with the goal to further enhance the value Willowood brings to its customers.”
Arnold brings over 25 years of experience in the agriculture industry, holding a variety of leadership positions with American Cyanamid, BASF, and DuPont. Most recently he was the President and CEO of The Solae Company, Nutrition Physiology Company, and Upfront Management.
“The Willowood team has built a strong foundation for future growth, including a broad portfolio of high-quality products, a cost-effective supply chain, and a commitment to excellent customer service,” said Arnold. “As growers experience low commodity prices and a desire to reduce input costs, Willowood is uniquely positioned to work with distribution partners to provide them with affordable, yet high-quality alternative products.”
Jon Leafstedt and Gary Weihs, principals with Kincannon & Reed, a leading global executive search firm focused on the food and agribusiness sectors, assisted Willowood and Lariat Partners in the recruitment of Tony.