Fonterra CEO to step down

Posted by Andrea Hogan on 21st March 2018

Fonterra’s Chief Executive Officer Theo Spierings will be stepping down from the top position later in 2018.

The news comes several hours after Fonterra dairy co-operative announced its half yearly financial results, reporting that it has been impacted by its investment in Chinese infant formula business Beingmate.

In announcing that Spierings will be leaving the CEO role, Fonterra said it had decided to publicly inform that it was looking for a new CEO now to avoid speculation.

Fonterra said it had started international searches in November 2017 after the Fonterra Board and Spierings had commenced succession discussions.

“It is not yet clear exactly when any appointment for Theo’s replacement will be made, but it is absolutely clear that Theo will continue in the meantime to drive the Co-operative’s strategy and business, with special emphasis on China,” said Fonterra Chairman John Wilson.

Fonterra announced a NZ$348 million net profit after tax loss for the first half of its 2018 financial year.

Wilson called Beingmate’s continued under-performance “unacceptable”.

“The turnaround of the investment is a key priority for our senior management team,” Wilson said.

“The opportunity in the China infant formula market remains, as does the potential for our Beingmate partnership-but an immediate business transformation is needed for Beingmate to benefit from the ongoing changes in the market.”


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