Global Chief Executive Officer
Karsten Neuffer is RiceTec’s Global CEO. He assumed responsibility for this position upon joining RiceTec in August 2022. Karsten is a seasoned executive with broad international experience, having lived and worked on three continents. Karsten began his career with McKinsey before joining Syngenta in 2006, where he held various strategic and operational leadership positions, including responsibilities for seeds businesses and as Regional Director of LATAM, with full P&L responsibility for the region. In 2018 he joined Indigo as senior executive, first as COO International, where he successfully developed and built Indigo’s international businesses, and subsequently as Global Chief Commercial Officer.
Karsten holds an M.S. in Industrial Engineering and Management Science from the University of Karlsruhe, Institute of Technology, and an MBA from the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business. In his spare time, Karsten enjoys tennis, skiing, and traveling with his wife and two kids.
Chief Financial Officer
Jochen is RiceTec’s Chief Financial Officer and has overall responsibility for treasury, business accounting, auditing, tax management, risk management, legal and intellectual property, business governance, and business planning and reporting. Jochen joined RiceTec in 2013 as Global Controller, later assuming the role of Global Finance Director before being named CFO in 2022. He has over 20 years of International Finance experience, including 10 in the Agriculture Industry.
Jochen earned his Bachelor of Arts and Diploma in Business Administration from the University of Cooperative Education, Loerrach in Germany. In his spare time, Jochen enjoys traveling, playing soccer and skiing.
Head of Transformation and Business Development
Megan DeYoung is the Head of Transformation and Business Development. She has global responsibility for RiceTec’s transformation, strategy, and business development activities and driving implementation of prioritized initiatives. She joined RiceTec in 2023 after serving as Vice President of Business Development at AeroFarms, a leading vertical farming company, where she developed new commercial opportunities with leading industry partners. Prior to AeroFarms, Megan served as Vice President Americas at Corporate Citizenship, a leading management consulting company specializing in corporate responsibility and sustainability. Over the course of her career, Megan has advised multiple Fortune 1000 companies on how to develop and implement strategies that marry environmental and social action with business value.
Megan graduated from the University of Michigan with an MBA from the Ross School of Business and an MS from the School for Environment and Sustainability. She also holds a BA with High Honors in Sociology from Emory University. In her spare time, Megan enjoys music, fitness, skiing, cooking, jigsaw puzzles, and spending time with friends and family.
Global Head of Human Resources
Andrei Golesteanu assumed the responsibility of Global Head of Human Resources for RiceTec in April 2023. Andrei has over 20 years of experience in Human Resources Business Partner and Talent Management roles and he joins RiceTec after serving as Senior Vice President HR at NYC Alliance, where he led the US expansion of the retail arm of the company. He previously held the position of Vice President HR for the international business at Indigo Ag, where he developed and opened new markets in Europe, Latam and Asia. Prior to that, Andrei managed the Organization Development function and the international expansion for Keurig Dr. Pepper.
Andrei graduated from the Academy of Economics in Bucharest and has a Masters degree in Global Human Resources Management from Rutgers University. In his spare time, Andrei enjoys playing basketball, running, swimming and exploring nature with his wife and two sons.
Vice President of Research and Global New Product Development Lead
Jose Re is Vice President of Research and Global New Product Development Lead for RiceTec. He began his career with the company in 2004 and has held several positions of responsibility in plant breeding for both the U.S. and South America. During Jose’s 30-year career in the seed industry, he has led the development of new hybrids for a variety of crops. Jose has served on several industry boards, including the American Seed Trade Association and U.S. Plant Variety Protection (PVP).
Jose holds a Ph.D. in Plant Breeding and Genetics from Oregon State University. In his free time, Jose enjoys opera (especially Italian operas), growing orchards, and reading.
President, Head of US Business
Van leads a cross-functional US Business Leadership Team with operational responsibility for the US rice seed business. Van joined RiceTec in 1997 and was instrumental in building the company’s Technical Services Department before transitioning into Sales. When RiceTec introduced the first commercial hybrid seed to the US market in 2000, Van led the team that has grown the product to be a market leader.
Van earned his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the University of Arkansas and his Master of Science in Biology from Arkansas State University. In his free time, Van enjoys a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, boating, hunting, and fishing. He also enjoys traveling and home improvement projects.
CEO and Managing Director, Savannah Seeds
Ajai Rana is CEO and MD of RiceTec’s business in India (operating under the name of Savannah Seeds). Ajai is a seasoned Agriculture Industry executive with over 31 years of experience in diverse commercial operations, business development, strategy and leadership roles across two continents. Ajai began his career with American Cynamid in 1992 and later joined Monsanto in 1995, where he held diverse sales, marketing, product management, strategy and operational leadership positions, including responsibilities for Director of Sales and Corn business of Monsanto India, Corn Traits Pricing and Pipeline biotech products for US corn market. In 2010, he joined RiceTec as Director of Business Development at Texas headquarters, where he successfully developed the Asia business expansion strategy, and subsequently moved to India and founded Savannah Seeds. By successful introduction of SmartRice hybrids and acquisition of Ganga Kaveri (GK) rice seed business, within 12 years Savannah became one the leading rice seed companies in the South Asia region.
Ajai holds a master’s degree in Vegetable Breeding from CSK HP Agriculture University, Palampur and an MBA in Marketing from Punjabi University Patiala, India. In his spare time, Ajai enjoys badminton, cricket, farming and traveling with his wife.