Simplot CEO to retire after 18 years at Boise company

Bill Whitacre
Bill Whitacre

Bill Whitacre, who spent the past nine years as chief executive officer of the J.R. Simplot Co., announced his retirement Friday.

Whitacre, the company’s sixth CEO since founder J.R. “Jack” Simplot stepped down in 1973, spent 18 years with the company and has more than 40 years of experience in agribusiness. His retirement is effective Aug. 31.

“Bill has been a highly successful and visionary leader who has helped the J.R. Simplot Company reach new heights and expand our global presence,” said Scott Simplot, chairman of the board and one of J.R.’s sons, in a news release. “The company, the board and the extended Simplot family thank him for his leadership and commitment.”

The company built a new headquarters Downtown on Whitacre’s watch, a nine-story, 325,000-square-foot complex that opened more than a year ago on a 7.5-acre plot it shares with JUMP, Jack’s Urban Meeting Place, a project of the Simplot family. The plot is bordered by Front, Myrtle, 9th and 11th streets.

The next CEO likely will be an internal candidate, the company said.

Michael Katz: 208-377-6444, @MichaelLKatz