John Deere appoints new President of Ag Business

As part of its long-term succession plan, John Deere is appointing Deanna M. Kovar as the future president of its Agricultural Machinery business, effective Nov. 1st, 2023, beginning in fiscal 2024. Kovar will oversee Regions 1 (Africa, Middle East and Asia) and 2 (Europe and CIS), the presidency for the Agricultural Equipment business, and the Turf businesses. She previously led the Precision Agriculture business unit.

Kovar will spend the remainder of this fiscal year familiarizing herself with the new role in addition to her existing responsibilities. As of Nov. 1st, she will then be given full responsibility for this post. On that date, Markwart von Pentz will assume an advisory role to CEO John C. May before his retirement in 2024.

Deanna M. Kovar

“I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished with John Deere in Europe, Africa and Asia over the past years. Now is a perfect moment to pass on the baton and I can think of no better successor than Deanna″, summarized von Pentz.

Von Pentz, a native of southern Lower Saxony, has been one of two global presidents of the Agricultural Machinery business since 2007. In his long period as a board member, even for John Deere, he has played a major role in shaping and significantly strengthening the company’s position and economic power, particularly in South America, Europe and Asia, over a period of 16 years. Von Pentz also set in motion the company’s realignment toward the digitization of agriculture.

Markwart von Pentz

It is precisely in the digitalization of agriculture that Kovar is a proven expert: In her previous position, she was responsible for the area of Precision Agriculture, and was instrumental in the company’s transformation into a “Smart Industrial Company″ and in the introduction of the “John Deere Production Systems″.

“For me, it was exciting to observe Mark’s early commitment to digitalization and our common goal was always to meet the complex and digital demands of farmers″, Kovar described her cooperation with her predecessor. In the transition phase to the new position as Head of Europe, she will be trained by von Pentz in the Small and Medium-Sized Agricultural Machinery and Turf divisions.