ADM promoting its president Juan Luciano to CEO; Patricia Woertz will step aside on Jan. 1

Agribusiness giant Archer Daniels Midland Co. is promoting its president and chief operating officer to CEO as Patricia Woertz steps down after more than eight years at the helm.

ADM said Thursday that Juan Luciano will take over as CEO on Jan. 1.

Woertz will remain chairman of the company. ADM says she expects to retire in May 2016.

Luciano has been COO since 2011 and was promoted to president in February, taking over that title from Woertz.

The Chicago-based company described the moves as a succession plan.

Woertz became ADM's CEO in April 2006 and has been chairman since February 2007.