New Chairman for ZESPRI
ZESPRI Group Limited
MEDIA RELEASE Wednesday 20 August 2008
New Chairman for ZESPRI
ZESPRI Group Ltd Chairman Craig Greenlees has announced his decision to step down after six years in the role. The Board this morning elected independent director of six years and former Richmond Ltd CEO John Loughlin as his replacement. Peter McBride will be deputy chairman, after six years as a director.
Mr Greenlees said he had decided to make this year his last as chairman and had advised the Board at its first meeting following the AGM. He will continue as a director of ZESPRI Group Ltd and also G6 Kiwi Ltd.
“I am enormously proud of the progress ZESPRI has made under my chairmanship over the last six years,” said Mr Greenlees. “We have moved well beyond the industry crisis of the late-1990s and are now, in my view, New Zealand’s most successful international marketing business and perhaps the only horticultural-product marketer in the world to achieve a genuine premium from our brands. That is because of the unity of the industry, the strong grower support we have achieved and the New Zealand Government’s commitment to our Single Point of Entry (SPE) marketing system.
“I am very pleased that the company is now ready to move into another strong growth phase after more challenging market environments over the last two years, and believe it is the right time for new leadership at Board and Executive level to secure those gains. It is also a good time for an independent director to take over the chairmanship at a time of industry consolidation, particularly in the post-harvest sector.”
Mr Loughlin said that it was an honour to be asked by the Board to take up the chairmanship. “I am tremendously excited about ZESPRI’s prospects,” he said. “It has very strong brands, outstanding grower loyalty, world-class executive and marketing talent, excellent research and development capability and is able to act strategically in the world marketplace thanks to its SPE system.
“I am looking forward to meeting with employees today, and growers during the two-week roadshow starting on Monday, to outline the particular perspective I will bring as chairman, being initially from outside the kiwifruit industry. I am pleased to have Peter McBride as my deputy given his deep links, history and knowledge of this industry over his entire career.”
Mr Loughlin said the Board was continuing the process to appoint a permanent CEO following the resignation of Tony Nowell in June.
“The Board believes strongly that we are moving into a new growth phase and the next stage of the company’s development as a 12-month global supplier. It is the right time to secure the new leadership at Board and Executive level to serve the company and its growers and shareholders over the next five years and beyond.”