Fonterra chief executive Miles Hurrell.
Fonterra has announced the permanent appointment of Miles Hurrell as its chief executive officer, with immediate effect.
Hurrell, who first joined the dairy co-operative in 2000, was appointed interim CEO last August following the exit of Theo Spierings.
He will be paid a base salary of NZD $1.9 million ($1.3 million), with additional short- and long-term incentive payments based on the achievement of targets.
Fonterra chairman John Monaghan said the company’s board has been impressed by Hurrell’s leadership and commercial skills.
“Miles has been performing well under difficult circumstances. Our performance is not something that will be fixed overnight. It will require the courage to make difficult decisions, be upfront with farmer-owners, unitholders and other stakeholders, and instil a culture of accountability and performance right across the organisation.
“Miles has demonstrated the wisdom, skills, experience and frankly, the backbone needed to lead. His permanent appointment will bring much-needed stability to the co-op and our people during a critical period of change.
“His work alongside the board as we progress our portfolio review to re-evaluate our investments, major assets and partnerships; and the more recently announced full review of the co-operative’s strategy, has him uniquely qualified for the role.”
In its last full-year results, Fonterra reported a net loss of NZD 196 million ($128.5 million). For the year ended 31 July 2018, revenue from the sale of goods was down 5.9% to NZD 19.23 billion ($12.61 billion).
Last December, the company announced it is considering the sale of its New Zealand ice cream brand Tip Top as it aims to reduce its debt levels by NZD 800 million ($550.1 million) by the end of the financial year.
Hurrell said he is looking forward to the challenge of re-setting the business so that it delivers on its commitments.
“My six months as interim CEO have reinforced my view that, despite the challenges with our current performance, the fundamentals of this business are strong. To realise our potential we need to get the basics right and that means a full review of our strategy and ultimately, a fundamental change in direction.
“I’d like to thank the co-op’s farmer-owners and unit holders for their continued encouragement and support. It’s not something that I’d ever take for granted.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019