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Martin H. Richenhagen

Chairman, President & CEO
AGCO Corporation

From Schoolteacher to CEO

Martin H. Richenhagen is still surprised by his unlikely immigration story. The German native started his career as a teacher before becoming a leader in the German steel industry. A chance meeting with the CEO of AGCO spawned a friendship that led to an interview and invitation to replace him in 2004. Mr. Richenhagen and his family moved to Atlanta on a work visa. Shortly after arriving, he initiated the green card process and in 2011 became a U.S. citizen.

Mr. Richenhagen’s understanding of different business cultures and practices and his emphasis on cultivating diversity across the company hierarchy have helped AGCO expand to new international markets. His perspective as an immigrant helped him successfully integrate more than two dozen of AGCO’s company acquisitions across the world into a single cohesive corporation. He believes that most immigrants value education and work and that their willingness to leave home demonstrates their motivation to succeed.

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Throughout U.S. history, immigrants have come to this country, made it their new home, contributed to its success and taught their children to do their part to make it even stronger. That historic success is at risk, however, because the current U.S. immigration system is broken. The U.S. Congress has been considering reforms to strengthen national security and boost economic growth for years but so far has failed to act.

This report outlines the economic benefits that accompany sensible immigration reform and tells the stories of several business leaders who came to America as immigrants.

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