Hugh Grant (born March 23, 1958) is a Scottish business executive and CEO of Monsanto.
Grant was born in Larkhall, Scotland. He received a BSc degree (Honors) in agricultural zoology and molecular biology from Glasgow University, a postgraduate degree in agriculture from the University of Edinburgh, and an MBA from the International Management Centre in Buckingham, England.
He worked in Scotland from 1981 to 1991, for the then U.S.-based Monsanto Company, and then was appointed global strategy director in the agriculture division, based in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1995 he became managing director for the company's Asia-Pacific region, and in 1998, co-president of the agriculture division.
The 20th-century Monsanto Company (in the midst of a roughly five-year series of mergers and spin-offs that had the effect of reducing its focus on chemicals in favor of biotechnology) legally ceased to exist in 2000, a new Monsanto Company was created, and Grant became executive vice president and chief operating officer of this new Monsanto. In 2003, he became president and chief executive officer, and joined the board of directors.
In March 2009, Grant was named one of the world's 30 most respected CEOs on Barron's annual list. He was named 2010 CEO of the Year by Chief Executive magazine. In 2009, Grant earned a total compensation of $10,803,757, which included a base salary of $1,391,356, a cash bonus of $1,070,382, stocks granted of $1,875,766, options granted of $5,902,039, and other compensation of $564,214.
Monsanto Company is a publicly traded American multinational agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology corporation headquartered in Creve Coeur, Greater St. Louis, Missouri. It is a leading producer of genetically engineered (GE) seed and Roundup, a glyphosate-based herbicide. Monsanto's role in agricultural changes, biotechnology products, lobbying of government agencies, and history as a chemical company have made the company controversial.
Founded in 1901 by John Francis Queeny, Monsanto initially produced food additives like saccharin and vanillin, expanded into industrial chemicals like sulfuric acid and PCBs in the 1920s, and by the 1940s was a major producer of plastics, including polystyrene and synthetic fibers. Notable achievements by Monsanto and its scientists as a chemical company included breakthrough research on catalytic asymmetric hydrogenation and being the first company to mass-produce light emitting diodes (LEDs). The company also formerly manufactured controversial products such as the insecticide DDT, PCBs, Agent Orange, and recombinant bovine somatotropin (a.k.a. bovine growth hormone).