10 Things You Didn’t Know about Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant

Hugh Grant is a Scottish businessperson of some renown. After all, he was the last CEO of Monsanto, which had a reputation for being one of the most notorious corporations that could be found in the entire world. Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about Hugh Grant:

1. Hugh Means Either Mind or Spirit

Hugh is the English version of Hugues, which in turn, is the Old French version of Hugo. In turn, Hugo came into existence as a shortened form of various Germanic names that started out with the element hug-, which can be translated to mean either “mind” or “spirit.”

2. Grant Has Multiple Origins

Grant is an interesting example of multiple processes that have produced the same-sounding name. For example, one potential source is the Latin grandis, which was turned into the Old French grand or grant, which in turn, were turned into the Anglo-Norman graund or graunt. Another potential source is the Old English byname Granta, which may or may not mean “snarler.”

3. Born in Larkhall

Regardless, Grant was born in a town called Larkhall, which can be found around 14 miles to the southeast of Glasgow in Scotland. In the past, Larkhall was known for its mining, its weaving, and its textiles, but those industries have been shut down for some time.

4. Studied Biology in School

At the University of Glasgow, Grant studied biology. To be exact, he specialized in a couple of fields. One was molecular biology, while the other was agricultural zoology, meaning animal biology in relation to agricultural activities. In time, these studies led to a postgraduate degree in agriculture from the University of Edinburgh.

5. Has an MBA

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Grant has a MBA as well, which is the postgraduate degree for people who are interested in becoming a member of senior management. In that case, he got his degree from the International Management Centre, which is associated with the unaccredited institution of higher education called Revans University.

6. Has Been with Two Monsanto Companies

Grant has been with Monsanto for so long that he has been with not one but two Monsanto Companies. In short, what happened is that Monsanto went through a series of mergers and spin-offs in the late 20th century with the result that it ceased to exist in 2000 before a new Monsanto was created. When this happened, Grant was named both the COO and the Executive Vice President of the new Monsanto.

7. The Change Saw a Shift in Focus

The transition between the two Monsanto Companies resulted in an enormous shift in focus. In short, the old Monsanto was more interested in chemicals, while the new Monsanto was more interested in biotech. Considering Grant’s own background, this put him in an excellent position to take charge.

8. Believes that Monsanto Picked Up Its Reputation Because It Was a Pioneer

In a WBUR interview, Grant stated that he believes that Monsanto picked up its reputation because it pioneered a lot of technologies that are concerning to a lot of people. As a result, the hostile feelings of said individuals latched onto Monsanto because it was the default choice.

9. Somewhat Sympathetic to the Concerns

On a related note, Grant has expressed a measure of sympathy towards people who express opposition to Monsanto and like-minded companies. Essentially, he believes that it is understandable for people to be concerned about the safety of their food as well as the security of their food. However, Grant also believes that so long as he and other people in their chosen industry can properly explain what they are doing as well as the benefits that what they are doing can bring to their customers, it is possible for both sides to meet on common ground.

10. Asked Opponents to Think about How Food Production Was Supposed to Keep Up with Increasing Demands

In the same interview, Grant asked opponents to think how food production was supposed to keep up with the increasing demands of a changing world. He cited the rising population, the impact of climate change, and the need to implement sustainability. Each of these issues are serious enough on their own, but when put together, the challenge becomes that much greater.


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