Clement served as CEO since September 2018.
The board said it wished to record its thanks and recognition of the major achievements he has overseen. It also recognized the substantial impact that COVID-19 has had on Synlait and the difficult challenge this would present to any management team.
Synlait Chair Graeme Milne said, “Leon has been an authentic and transformational leader. He has successfully repositioned Synlait’s purpose, ambition, and strategy to make us a more diversified and sustainable company. On behalf of the board and all staff we wish Leon the very best in his future career and thank him for his energy and dedication to Synlait during his time with us.”
Clement, who will continue in the role until the end of April, said, “It has been a privilege to lead Synlait. It has been an intensive period of change and growth and I am proud of our achievements. Synlait has an amazing team that is making a positive and sustainable impact in the areas we operate.”
From May 1, 2021, John Penno (Synlait co-founder, former CEO, and current director), will assume the role of interim CEO until a permanent replacement is appointed.
Last month, Synlait published its financial result for the six months ended January 31, 2021, which showed that while revenue rose by 19% to NZ$664.2m, EBITDA dropped by 29% to NZ$47.7m, and NPAT was down 76% to NZ$6.4m.
Consumer-packaged infant formula sales were down 16%, while lactoferrin production was up 16%.
After the results were published, Milne said, “Our first half was challenging, and we continue to find ourselves in a period of significant uncertainty and volatility as Synlait faces into several headwinds. This is impacting our short-term operations and will impact our full year 2021 financial result (FY21).”