Chinese milk powder manufacturer Beingmate has appointed a new general manager – a move welcomed by minority shareholder Fonterra – as it aims to re-focus its business for growth.
Bao Xiufei joins Beingmate from the Chinese business of Dutch dairy company Royal FrieslandCampina, where he most recently held the titles of Friso chief sales officer and consumer dairy managing director.
Prior to this, he was the sales director at Wyeth Nutrition and also held senior roles at PepsiCo and Wahaha Food Group.
The appointment has been welcomed by Fonterra, the New Zealand dairy company that owns an 18% stake in Beingmate but had been forced to writedown more than $400 million from the value of its investment made in 2014 as a result of the Chinese company’s disappointing financial performance.
Fonterra CEO Theo Spierings claimed the appointment signals an important step in the transformation of Beingmate.
He said: “We know our farmers and unit holders expect a lift in Beingmate’s performance, so influencing the right transformation steps through our 18% shareholding has been one of our top priorities. The appointment of a new and independent GM is the first of three key steps we communicated earlier this year in the Beingmate transformation plan. Now this appointment is made, the next priorities will be for Mr Bao to unlock Beingmate’s distribution network and take the right actions to meet Chinese customers’ preferences for e-commerce.
“There are a number of opportunities to reverse Beingmate’s current performance and we look forward to working with Mr Bao and seeing Beingmate fulfil its potential.”
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