Land O’Lakes’ Beth Ford is first out lesbian CEO at Fortune 500 company

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Beth Ford (Screenshot via YouTube)

Beth Ford has been appointed CEO of dairy food cooperation Land O’Lakes. This marks the first time an out lesbian has been CEO of a Fortune 500 company.

Ford will take over for Chris Policinski who is retiring. According to Fortune, she is the first female CEO in Land O’Lakes’ 97-year history. Ford is the first gay woman CEO at a Fortune 500 company and the third openly gay CEO.

Fortune reports “Ford said it didn’t even come up in her discussions with the board. But she conceded that ‘it’s not nothing.’”

She is now one of 24 female CEOs leading Fortune 500 companies.

“I am extraordinarily grateful to work at a company that values family, including my own,” Ford said in a statement to CNN. “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.”

Ford will officially begin her CEO duties of the company on Aug. 1. Land O’Lakes is currently contending tariffs on U.S. dairy goods imposed as a counterattack for President Donald Trump’s trade war.

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