Seed World

Corteva Names Sam Eathington Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer


Corteva, Inc. announced that Sam Eathington, Ph.D., will join the company as senior vice president and Chief Technology Officer. Reporting to Chief Executive Officer James C. Collins, Jr., Eathington will lead Corteva Agriscience’s research & development organization. He will oversee the company’s efforts to advance its industry-leading portfolio, helping to drive global agricultural innovation for the benefit of farmers, consumers and the planet.

Eathington joins Corteva from The Climate Corporation (part of Bayer Crop Science), where he was Chief Science Officer. He previously spent nearly two decades focused on quantitative traits and molecular breeding at Monsanto. He succeeds Neal Gutterson, PhD, who last October announced his plans to retire from the company in the second half of 2020.

“We are delighted to welcome Sam Eathington to Corteva Agriscience,” Collins says. “For over 25 years, Sam has established himself as a driving force in agricultural innovation, deploying science and technology to solve some of the biggest challenges in agriculture and food production, experience that is especially valuable at this moment in time. Under his leadership, we will build on our strong foundation, continuing to leverage the unparalleled insights from our direct farmer relationships to introduce products and services that enable them to increase production and profitability while enhancing the environmental sustainability of their operations.”

Eathington says, “As a passionate advocate for agricultural advancement with a lifelong love of farming, I am excited to join Corteva Agriscience. I was immediately drawn to this role because of the Company’s dedication to helping farmers maximize the potential of their land and drive progress for generations to come. I look forward to working alongside my new colleagues to introduce innovations that create value for customers, address the evolving expectations of consumers and support the sustainable, long term growth of the business.”

Collins continues, “Neal Gutterson established an R&D organization that is second to none in our industry, and a strong, balanced pipeline of seed, crop protection and digital products. We are deeply grateful for his contributions to Corteva Agriscience and our predecessor companies over the past six years and wish him all the best.”

Following the merger of Dow and DuPont in 2017, Gutterson led the integration of the highly complementary capabilities from DuPont Pioneer, DuPont Crop Protection and Dow AgroSciences into a single, unified innovation organization. By 2023, that organization will have enabled the launch of 21 products with combined estimated peak sales of more than $6 Billion, including Enlist, Qrome, Pyraxalt and Rinskor. Gutterson will remain in place to assure a smooth transition.

Prior to his role at The Climate Corporation, Eathington spent 17 years in roles of increasing responsibility and seniority in quantitative traits and molecular breeding at Monsanto, including Vice President, Global Plant Breeding. Eathington holds more than 50 patents, patent applications and publications and is an expert contributor to numerous periodicals.

Additionally, Eathington is a sixth-generation Illinois farmer. His family has been farming the same land for more than 150 years. He holds a B.S. in agronomy, an M.S. in soybean breeding and genetics and a PhD in quantitative genetics and maize breeding, all from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.