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Selection Process Robust And Fair - Fonterra Chair

For Immediate Release 27 June, 2003


The selection of Andrew Ferrier as the incoming Chief Executive of Fonterra Co-operative Group followed a robust and fair process in line with agreements made by the legacy companies at the time of the merger in 2001, Fonterra Chairman Henry van der Heyden said today.

The formal agreement between the two legacy companies was to establish the calibre of candidates available internationally at the end of Craig Norgate's two-year fixed contract.

"It was always agreed that we had a responsibility to identify what the international market had to offer. The process followed has discharged that responsibility," he said.

Mr van der Heyden said Mr Norgate had been asked by the Board to take part in the process, but he had felt that it was unnecessary for him to go through all the formalities with the search company, Egon Zehnder International - such as a formal application, testing, interviews and reference checks.

"We accepted that. Having worked with Craig for the two years of his contract, we already knew his credentials and capabilities so his involvement in the paperwork side of process would have been a formality."

Mr van der Heyden said that as part of the search, the Board had set down the key capabilities and experience needed in the role as CEO of New Zealand's largest company, exporting 95% of production to global markets.

The Board then compared the credentials of the candidates put forward by Egon Zehnder International, and those of Mr Norgate, against these criteria. Mr Ferrier came out ahead.


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