* Nicosia takes on global cotton role at Louis Dreyfus
* Long-time execs take over reins at Allenberg
By Josephine Mason
NEW YORK, Jan 11 (Reuters) - Allenberg Cotton has promoted Thomas Malone to second-in-command of one of the world's biggest cotton merchants as longtime chief Joe Nicosia relinquishes day-to-day running of the U.S. company.
Malone, a 40-year Allenberg veteran and chief operating officer, will take on the additional role of president, filling the position vacated by Anthony Tancredi, who took over from Nicosia as chief executive in November.
"I will be shifting my day-to-day responsibilities to Anthony Tancredi and Tommy Malone," Nicosia said on the sidelines of the Cotton Beltwide conference in San Antonio, Texas.
Allenberg is the U.S. cotton merchandising arm of Louis Dreyfus Commodities and claims to handle about a fifth of the country's production from its headquarters just outside of Memphis, the epicenter of U.S. cotton trade, in Tennessee.
Among the most well-known and influential figures in the clubby cotton market, Nicosia is still in charge of global cotton operations at Louis Dreyfus.
But he has handed responsibility for Allenberg, which is Dreyfus' U.S. cotton arm, to his two longest-serving senior executives.
"This is about promoting Anthony and Tommy rather than lessening my role in cotton and Louis Dreyfus," Nicosia said.
Shake-up of top management comes after signs of tension late last year. Tancredi, long been considered Nicosia's heir apparent, left the company abruptly in September and returned as boss six weeks later.
As part of that deal, he took over Nicosia's two roles: Allenberg chief executive and senior cotton platform head at parent company Louis Dreyfus, Nicosia said this week.
At the same time, Nicosia became global cotton platform head of Louis Dreyfus. He remains one of 26 senior executives on the global commodity trader's executive committee.
His involvement in Louis Dreyfus' other divisions from coffee to palm oil has taken up more of his time, he said.
Tancredi joined Louis Dreyfus in 1985, five years after Nicosia, who had been working in the firm's grain division. This was about the same time that Dreyfus teamed up with Allenberg, according to company websites.