Fonterra goes public on search for new CEO

By Guy Montague-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Fonterra Milk New zealand

Fonterra has revealed that its CEO Andrew Ferrier intends to step down in the second half of the year provided a suitable successor can be found.

Ferrier has spent eight years at the top of Fonterra in which time he has seen the New Zealand co-op grow in size and international stature.

Fonterra now accounts for 30 per cent of global exports and generates $16.7bn in annual revenue from 1.286 billion kg of milk solids. When Ferrier moved from the sugar industry to become CEO, Fonterra made $11.8bn in annual revenue from 1.202 billion kg of milk solids.

Ferrier gave the Fonterra board considerable notice of his intention to leave the company. Fonterra said the assessment and development of internal candidates began nearly two years ago and an international search kicked off at the end of last year.

No fixed departure date

Sir Henry van der Heyden, Fonterra chairman, said Ferrier had given the Board considerable flexibility and that there is no fixed date set for his departure.

“It is possible that we will have identified a suitable candidate by the second half of this year but Andrew is committed to continuing in his role until we have found the right person.”

Heyden praised Ferrier for all he has done during his time at the top of Fonterra.

“Andrew has devoted eight years to building Fonterra into a highly successful co-operative delivering great results for its farmer shareholders and New Zealand… Fonterra has never been in better shape, and that is a credit to Andrew’s leadership.”

After stepping down from his position at Fonterra, Ferrier plans to continue living in New Zealand and spend a little more time with family, including in his homeland Canada.

He said: “I have had 17 years as a CEO, including eight years at Fonterra, and I am looking forward to more flexibility in my life, spending more time with my family, and choosing from a number of business interests that are available to me.”

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