Cargill Names First Diversity Chief

Cargill Names First Diversity Chief

U.S. Navy vet Greg Jones has taken a job as Cargill’s first chief diversity, equity, and inclusion officer.

Minnesota’s biggest privately held company has hired its first diversity chief.

On Monday, Greg Jones started his new job as chief diversity, equity, and inclusion officer at Minnetonka-based Cargill Inc. It’s the first time the agribusiness giant has had a position specifically devoted to diversity. But, as a global company, Cargill has already been diversifying its ranks throughout the years. Also, in late 2020, Cargill joined the likes of Walmart, Nike, and more than 30 other companies to launch a new initiative aimed at increasing employment opportunities for Black Americans.

“Jones’ hiring represents Cargill’s ongoing commitment to accelerate progress on our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion goals: achieving gender parity, advancing underrepresented groups globally, and addressing anti-Black racism,” Cargill said in a statement.

A U.S. Navy vet, Jones has led diversity and inclusion efforts at a number of Fortune 500 companies, including United Airlines, Bank of America, and KeyBank. He began his career as an electrical engineer for GE Healthcare in 1989.

The demand for diversity-oriented execs has grown significantly in recent years. In July 2020, The Wall Street Journal reported that about half of all S&P 500 companies employed a chief diversity officer. In Minnesota, dozens of big companies already have a diversity chief on staff, including Target Corp., 3M, and the Minnesota Timberwolves/Lynx.