See more of the story

3M's chief financial officer, who was named company president last year, is resigning his role to run the books for food and agriculture giant ADM.

"3M is well positioned for success, and this is the right time for me to transition to a new opportunity," Monish Patolawala, 55, said in a statement Wednesday.

The amicable parting leaves new CEO Bill Brown with the first major executive role to fill in his tenure, which began May 1.

The Maplewood-based maker of tapes, sponges and safety gear hired Patolawala from General Electric in 2020, where he had been CFO for a decade. The outside hire was atypical for a company that has long promoted executives from within.

His tenure was marked by extreme financial highs and lows for 3M, which benefited from pandemic sales of respirators and has since reckoned with billions in legal settlements over PFAS and military ear plugs.

In many corporations, the president role is reserved for the CEO heir apparent. Patolawala's promotion to president last summer fueled speculation that he was in line to succeed former CEO Mike Roman. The last person to hold the role of president at the company was Roman's predecessor Inge Thulin.

Then, in March, 3M named Brown, a company outsider, as its next CEO.

"On behalf of all 3Mers, I thank Monish for his leadership and contributions to 3M over the past four years," Brown said in a statement.

Patolawala's last day at 3M will be July 31. He begins his role as chief financial officer and executive vice president at Chicago-based ADM the next day.

"As a child growing up in India, I witnessed severe poverty and hunger firsthand," Patolawala said, "and that's what makes me so passionate about the important work that ADM is doing to feed the world through its purpose of unlocking the power of nature to enrich the quality of life."