PRESS RELEASE   June 05, 2023

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. “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. 

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.  

Deanna M. Kovar,  
Vice President, Production Systems, Production & Precision Ag. 
Deanna M. Kovar (45) has been instrumental in John Deere's strategy shift from a pure equipment supplier to a technology company in recent years. She grew up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin, USA and has been with John Deere since  2000. During her career, she has held various leadership positions and worked closely with the four John Deere regions. Key roles have included sales, marketing, customer service and product development.  In recent years, she has consistently worked closely with Markwart von Pentz. As head of Europe, she will relocate to the Mannheim region with her family.  

Mark von Pentz 
President, Worldwide Agriculture & Turf Division Small Ag & Turf Region 1 & 2 
Markwart von Pentz (60) started in 1988 as a student trainee in Mannheim and has since spent his entire professional career with John Deere. His first role was as a financial auditor at the European headquarters, responsible for strategic alliances in Europe, before becoming responsible for international and later German sales. After three years in the U.S. as Vice President Marketing, he was appointed to the Executive Board for his current role at the age of 44. Keeping close contact with sales partners, farmers, and employees in a wide range of company departments is particularly important to him. “I will definitely continue to maintain close contact with agriculture in the coming years. For me, the current transformation of our industry is an exciting journey″, adds von Pentz, who is looking forward to the next phase in his life after the gradual transition.