Fonterra board member John Wilson,is to succeed Sir Henry van der Heyden as the company’s chair.
Mr Wilson is a previous Chairman of the Co-operative’s Shareholders’ Council. John lives on his family dairy farm near Te Awamutu and also manages a dairy farming business in South Canterbury. He is the Chairman of South Auckland Independent Testing Society Ltd and a director of Turner & Growers Ltd.
“Over the past two years the Board has been working through a considered and disciplined process to appoint a Chairman Elect and ensure the succession plan we have is in the best interest of the Co-operative,” says Sir Henry.
“John and I will work together over the next few months to assist with a smooth transition to provide continuity for the Co-operative.”
The announcement has been welcomed by Federated Farmers Dairy Section chair Willie Leferink who said:
. . . John will be in charge of taking the world’s fourth largest dairy company forward in its second decade of life. This includes delivering to shareholders and unit holders, everything promised from Trading Among Farmers (TAF) and the strategy refresh.
“The immediate priority for John, during the transition phase, is to put to bed Fonterra’s constitution in November so we can all move forward. . . “
The passing of the DIRA legislation this week ushers in a new era for Fonterra.
It has grown considerably under Sir Henry’s leadership. Reducing the redemption risk should help the company continue to grow and prosper which will be good for its suppliers and the country.