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Zespri Board announces succession planning for new CEO

MEDIA RELEASE: 21 September 2016

Zespri Board announces succession planning for new CEO

The Board of Directors of Zespri will start a search process next year to select a new Chief Executive Officer. The succession is being planned with a view to having the new CEO in place by the beginning of 2018.

The current CEO Lain Jager, who was appointed Zespri CEO in December 2008, will remain in the role until the new CEO starts.

Zespri Chairman Peter McBride says the Board is balancing continuity and renewal in the leadership of the organisation. “The Zespri Board has set out a process for succession at an optimal time. The timeframe helps to ensure continuity through this transition, which is important given Zespri’s critical role in the value chain for kiwifruit growers and customers globally.”

“At the same time, Zespri now has an experienced and stable management team in place and the Board will consider both potential internal and external candidates for the position,” says Mr McBride.

During Lain’s tenure as CEO, the industry has recovered well from Psa. Zespri has delivered success with the commercialisation of SunGold and has expanded sales in both new and mature markets around the world.

“The transition comes at a time of strong growth and significant opportunity for the industry,” says Mr McBride.

Lain Jager has served as CEO of Zespri for nearly a decade and Mr McBride notes his enormous contribution to the New Zealand kiwifruit industry.

“Lain’s record speaks for itself. He has helped the business manage the opportunities and challenges which come with growth. Global sales have nearly doubled during his tenure, and value created for growers and shareholders has increased strongly.

“Furthermore, Lain has provided strategic direction and overseen the development of Zespri’s organisational culture. Under Lain’s leadership, Zespri has strengthened our systems, policies and processes which together support the company’s globalisation and build one company with one culture. This sets Zespri up well for capturing the strong growth opportunities ahead,” says Mr McBride.

Mr Jager comments: “Working as part of the industry leadership team and with Zespri employees and partners around the world is a huge privilege. I am looking forward to supporting the succession process and helping the Board of Directors in providing leadership continuity through this period. I also am excited about the 2017 season and look forward to my final year working with growers and Zespri partners globally.”

ENDS

About Lain Jager

Lain Jager joined Zespri in 1999 as Human Resources Manager and was promoted to General Manager Supply Chain in July 2004. Lain was appointed Acting Chief Executive in July 2008 and Chief Executive in December 2008. Before Zespri, Lain was Director, Human Resources at the Sheraton Auckland and prior to that he was Executive Development Manager for Pacific Steel and Human Resources Manager for Sheraton Rotorua. Lain, who grew up in New Plymouth, has a Master’s degree in Psychology, Philosophy and English from the University of Waikato.

About Zespri Group Ltd

With sales revenues of $1.9 billion in 2015/16, Zespri is one of the world’s most successful horticulture marketing companies and the Zespri brand is recognised as the world leader in premium quality kiwifruit. Based in Mount Maunganui, New Zealand, we are 100 percent owned by current or past kiwifruit growers, and employ approximately 350 people in New Zealand, Asia, Europe and the Americas.

On behalf of our 2,500 growers in New Zealand and 1,200 growers based elsewhere, Zespri manages kiwifruit innovation and supply management, distribution management and marketing of Zespri Green, Zespri SunGold, Zespri Organic, Zespri Gold and Zespri Sweet Green Kiwifruit.


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