The Australian reports that Fonterra CEO Theo Spierings is about to resign:
Speculation is mounting on both sides of the Tasman that the Dutch chief executive of Fonterra, Theo Spierings, is about to depart the dairy powerhouse, with Air New Zealand chief executive Christopher Luxon earmarked as his most likely replacement.
Mr Spierings has headed New Zealand’s largest company for about five years; and last year he faced criticism as Fonterra’s Australian arm fell into loss making territory, triggering a sale of its Australian yoghurt and dairy dessert business to Parmalat Australia in a quest to return it to profitability.
But the talk of his departure comes after Murray Goulburn chief executive Gary Helou recently left the Australian dairy co-op following a shock profit downgrade.
The dairy industries in both Australia and New Zealand are wresting with the challenges surrounding a lower milk price, and in New Zealand, the difficulties are compounded by the higher New Zealand dollar. Speculation has emerged in the past month on both
sides of the Tasman that Mr Luxon has been earmarked as the next Fonterra boss, with a departure by Mr Spierings, who has 30 years experience in the industry, said to be close.
Sources close to Fonterra have dismissed the suggestions. . .
International commodity prices aren’t under the control of a CEO.
A company culture and its communications are and both need improvement at Fonterra.
An email to shareholders from Fonterra chair John Wilson says:
- I have received a number of emails from farmers this morning concerned at the media speculation that Fonterra’s CEO Theo Spierings plans to resign.
- This rumour is completely untrue.
- Farmers and shareholders would be the first to know if the CEO of their Co-operative had resigned.