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Methven chair Phil Lough to retire next month

Methven chair Phil Lough to retire next month, to be succeeded by Alison Barrass

By Paul McBeth

June 19 (BusinessDesk) – Long-serving Methven chairman Phil Lough will end nine years at the head of the tapware manufacturer's board at the end of July, handing over the reins to independent director Alison Barrass.

Lough's retirement followed a board review of Methven's governance last year which included succession planning, and the directors today unanimously supported Barrass's election as chair-elect from Aug. 1, Methven said in a statement. Lough first joined Methven's board in 2004 and assumed the chair in 2008.

"I am incredibly proud to have led Methven at the time where we celebrate Methven’s 130-year anniversary and am looking forward to reducing responsibilities and spending more time with my family," Lough said in a statement. "We have made many improvements to the business, and I have every belief in the company’s journey to deliver long-term profitable growth."

Lough assumed the chair as the global financial crisis was gathering steam and after Methven's shares almost halved in value from a peak in mid-2007. He was tasked with overseeing the company's next growth phase, and under his watch Methven ended five years of declining revenue and profit in 2015, in part through buying a Chinese manufacturing facility.

More recently, warned this year's result will see a drop in earnings after steady investing didn't pan out as initially anticipated, sending the shares down to a 15-month low. During Lough's chairmanship, Methven's shares dropped 29 percent to $1.11, compared to a 133 percent gain in the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index over the same period.

Barrass joined Methven's board in 2012 and chairs the health and safety, and remuneration committees. She also sits on the boards of Spark New Zealand, Callaghan Innovation, Gough Group, Heilala Vanilla, and Rockit International.



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