Wilmington, Del. (Vocus) May 5, 2010
DuPont named William S. Niebur as leader of its Pioneer Hi-Bred business in China – the world’s second largest seed corn market and a key, long-term growth opportunity for the company. Niebur previously led DuPont’s crop genetics research and development efforts.
“Bill has seen first-hand the power of the Pioneer approach to putting science to work for farmers around the world,” said Paul E. Schickler, president – Pioneer Hi-Bred. “Having his wealth of experience and expertise guiding the seed business in China will greatly enhance our ability to deliver innovation and increased productivity to Chinese farmers.”
Today China has the challenge of feeding 20 percent of the global population with 9 percent of the global arable land.
“Helping China increase its agricultural productivity through better seeds has tremendous potential,” said Douglas W. Muzyka, president – DuPont Greater China. “Bill, with the support of our strong local team, will provide the leadership to continue to grow the business and serve our customers.”
Pioneer opened its first seed corn research center in China in 1998. Since then it has created two joint ventures with a strong portfolio of products developed specifically for the local area.
Niebur joined Pioneer as a maize research station manager in 1983. Since then he has held a number of positions in the research and development organization, including an assignment as the Pioneer European Corn Research director. He was promoted to vice president, Crop Genetics Research and Development group in 2002, and named DuPont vice president in 2005.
Niebur earned his doctorate in plant breeding and cytogenetics from the University of Minnesota and holds B.S. and M.S. degrees from Iowa State University.
John Soper now will lead DuPont’s crop genetics research and development, assuming the role previously held by Niebur. Soper began his career with Pioneer in 1987 as a soybean breeder. He went on to serve as regional soybean research director for the United States and Canada, director of sunflower research with additional responsibility for sorghum, rice, millet and alfalfa research programs. Since 2001, he has served as Pioneer director of soybean research.
Soper received his doctorate in agronomy and plant breeding from North Dakota State University and holds B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Maryland, College Park.
Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business, is the world’s leading source of customized solutions for farmers, livestock producers and grain and oilseed processors. With headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa, Pioneer provides access to advanced plant genetics in nearly 70 countries.
DuPont is a science-based products and services company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in approximately 80 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture and food; building and construction; communications; and transportation.