Minneapolis-based Land O’Lakes CEO Beth Ford says learning to listen is key to good leadership

THE LAND O’LAKES HEADQUARTERS IS A SHORT drive from the Minneapolis neighborhood where George Floyd was killed by police, setting off global protests over racism in the U.S. For the many Fortune 500 companies based in the Twin Cities, the tragedy exposed dramatic inequalities in a region that prides itself on its progressiveness. Beth Ford, the CEO of Land O’Lakes, had already been working to improve diversity at the $14 billion agribusiness and food company. In a symbolic gesture in February, the company removed the Native American woman from the logo that had long appeared on its butter and cheese products.

In a recent video interview, Ford, 56, talked with TIME about how the company, a member-owned cooperative, and the

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