Ignacio remembers that when he was a child, he accompanied his father to make breeding crosses in the soybean plots. His hands were so useful for that work, but he thought that he would not be an agronomist like his father. Today, Ignacio, the only male son of Gerardo Bartolomé is 32 years old and he was appointed to be the new CEO of GDM Seeds (the Don Mario Group) since January 1st, 2022, replacing his father.
Born in 1982 in Chacabuco city, Don Mario is not only the largest soybean breeding company in Argentina but is rapidily becoming global company too. It is estimated that one in five soybean grain commercialized across the world contains Don Mario’s germplasm. The company holds close to 50% of the soybean seed market in South America, a market share that boosts Don Mario as the world second largest soybean seed supplier. Also, the company is the first Latinamerican company selling soybean seed in the US market and is beginning the operation in China, testing around 80 varieties in 15 locations.
Born in 1956, Gerardo Luis Bartolomé developed from zero the company. He and his partners started the operation in 1982 as farmers, but in 1988 they were registering their first soybean variety, DM 49. Now, at 63, Gerardo decided to pass the company to a new generation. The times changed and there are new ideas, new people, and new modes of doing business, and Gerardo thinks that, preserving the identity and culture of the company, it’s the time that the young people take the reins.
Ignacio began his professional career in Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC) as a grain trader in 2009, despite being an ITBA’s graduate in Business and Systems Administration. In 2016 he joined GDM in North America when his father asked him to take over the US operation for GDM. Since then, he has been the Business Director for North America, Since then he has been responsible for acquiring two independent seeds companies negotiating biotechnology licenses with the largest biotech corporations.
Gerardo will leave the leadership of the company on December 31th, 2021. “We discussed seriously if we must to announce this change with so much anticipation, but we thought that we must follow our intuition, as ever did, and that the most important thing is that the Don Mario’s culture is intact. This is the most value for us, for our customers, partners and the farmers in general”, Gerardo stated during a press conference, last week, where eFarmNewsAr.com was present.
Another historic manager from Don Mario announced his retirement. He is Obdulio San Martin, who worked for more than 30 years side by side with Gerardo Bartolomé developing the company. He is the current General Manager for Latam South, and he also announces that he will leave the company next December 31st, 2020. “I ever said to Gerardo that when he retired, I would also retire”, he explained. He added that he shares the criteria that it is time to leave the company to a new generation. He will be replaced by Santiago De Stefano who will add to his current responsibilities as Business Director for Brazil those over South Latam.