The founder of the country’s largest ethanol company is stepping down as CEO.
POET founder Jeff Broin will continue managing and leading the company’s board as Executive Chairman, while Jeff Lautt has been named CEO. Lautt has been with POET since 2005, serving as President of the company for the past year.
In stepping down as CEO, Broin says he wants to spend more time with his family and take on new challenges. “I will continue to be involved in strategic direction for the company as Executive Chairman of the Board, and leave the day-to-day operations to our very capable management team. I would not have done this had I not been convinced that the company would be in good hands. Under the leadership of Jeff Lautt and the entire management team at POET, I have confidence that the company will continue to lead the industry into the future.” Broin is married and has three children. In his more than two decades of leadership, POET has grown from 1 million gallons of ethanol that first year to an annual capacity in excess of 1.6 billion gallons.
In addition to serving as Executive Chairman of POET’s Board of Directors, Broin will continue to speak out on behalf of ethanol and agriculture as co-chairman of Growth Energy. He also intends to spend more time guiding the activities of his newly created foundation, “Teach a Man to Fish” which will spread the power of agriculture throughout the developing world.
“For the past 25 years, Jeff Broin has led POET and the entire ethanol industry,” said Lautt. “He has grown POET from one small plant to a leadership position in the global renewable fuels industry. With the help of the entire team at POET, I will do my best to continue building on the success the company has achieved.”
Prior to being named president of POET in March 2011, Lautt served as Executive Vice President of Corporate Operations where he was responsible for all operational business units within the company. Lautt spent fourteen years in the emergency vehicle industry where he served as President of a Midwestern-based fire truck manufacturing company before joining POET. Lautt has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and Engineering from South Dakota State University.