Former Cargill CEO Whitney MacMillan dies

A former chairman and CEO of Minnesota-based Cargill has died, the company announced Thursday.

Cargill said Whitney MacMillan, who spent 44 years with the company, including almost 20 years as its top executive, died Wednesday night at the age of 90.

During his time as CEO, Cargill expanded from 31 to 53 countries and quadrupled its employee base. He also led the company to enter the canola, cocoa, cotton, malt and fertilizer trading arenas, and also added beef and pork processing to the company.

"Personally, Whitney served as a mentor to me and many others—he told us to make sure we did everything the right way, with absolute integrity and without fanfare. I bring that principle to my work every day," current Cargill CEO David W. MacLennan said in part. "His legacy at Cargill is just one chapter in his story of service and impact. I join those at the WEM Foundation and the many arts and cultural programs, educational institutions and health care facilities he and his wife, Betty, supported in celebrating the positive impact Whitney has made—and will continue to make—around the world."

MacMillan was residing in Vero Beach, Florida when he passed away. He was the great-grandson of Cargill founder W.W. Cargill.