National Foods imports Lion Nathan NZ’s MD

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 8th February 2011

National Foods HQ lobbyPeter Kean, currently Managing Director of Lion Nathan National Foods’ New Zealand and Global Wine businesses, has been appointed Managing Director of food and beverage company National Foods, from 1 April 2011, replacing Andrew Reeves, who will leave the business to become CEO at ABF’s George Weston Foods.

National Foods is one of Australasia’s largest FMCG companies, employing over 4,000 people and producing category-leading brands in milk and dairy beverages, juice, fresh dairy, cheese and soy.

Kean has been with Lion for almost 25 years, with the last six as Managing Director. In 2010, his leadership responsibilities were extended with the integration of Lion’s Global Wine business into Lion Nathan New Zealand.

In making the announcement, Rob Murray, Chief Executive of Lion Nathan National Foods, said Kean’s appointment is a reflection of his success in consistently delivering EBIT targets in a very challenging and highly complex market environment.

“Under Peter’s leadership Lion Nathan has successfully implemented a number of sustainable growth strategies and transformational initiatives, including the evolution of the NZ business to a multi-category model comprising New Zealand’s best-loved beverage brands.

“Peter has relentlessly focussed on innovation, brand health, sales execution, increasing customer engagement and developing a manufacturing excellence platform.

“That same commitment will now be applied to National Foods as the organisation continues to invest in its strategic assets to create a business fully focussed on the needs of customers and consumers.

“There is no doubt the operating environment for National Foods is a challenging one, not least of which is because the conditions in both the dairy and juice sectors remain very challenging for farmers and producers alike. Peter’s experience over the past five years in transforming the New Zealand business in similarly challenging circumstances will be critical going forward,” concluded Mr Murray.

Murray also paid tribute to the departing Reeves’ achievements at Lion Nathan National Foods over eight and a half years, initially as Managing Director of Lion Nathan Australia, and for the last year and a half as Managing Director of National Foods.

“During his time with our business Andrew has worked tirelessly to build great brands, innovate for growth, create a world class asset base in Lion Nathan Australia and invest in culture and people capability. I would like to thank Andrew for his significant contribution to the business and wish him every success in his new role,” Murray said.

Murray indicated the company’s primary focus between now and 1 April would be on facilitating a smooth transition and ensuring National Foods remained fully focussed on delivering on the needs of customers and consumers.

The company said that an announcement regarding the role of Managing Director for Lion Nathan New Zealand would be made in the near future.