Minnesota-based dairy giant Land
O'Lakes has appointed Beth Ford as its new CEO.
The announcement makes Ford the first
out lesbian running a Fortune 500 company.
According to Forbes, Ford will
replace Chris Policinski, who is retiring. Ford is also the
company's first female CEO in its 97-year history.
“Ford said [her sexual orientation]
didn't even come up in the discussions with the board,” Forbes
wrote. “But she conceded that 'it's not nothing.'”
In a statement given to CNN, Ford said
that she was “extraordinarily grateful” to “work at a company
that values family, including my own.”
“The Board chose the person they felt
best met the criteria to drive success in the business. I realize
this is an important milestone for many people and I am pleased to
share it. I made a decision long ago to live an authentic life and if
my being named CEO helps others do the same, that’s a wonderful
moment,” she said.
Ford begins her new job on Wednesday.