Ferrier to leave Fonterra
Fonterra chief executive Andrew Ferrier is to step down later this year after eight years at the co-operative, it was announced this morning.
Canadian-born Mr Ferrier joined New Zealand’s largest company in June 2003 when he replaced Craig Norgate as chief executive.
Fonterra chairman Sir Henry van der Heyden said Mr Ferrier had indicated some time ago that he wanted to move on by the end of 2011.
“As a result, Fonterra and the board are well prepared for a smooth transition to a new CEO,” Sir Henry said.
Mr Ferrier said he intended to continue living in New Zealand after he left Fonterra, but sought flexibility to spend more time with family, including in his homeland Canada.
“Fonterra is a great co-operative and, when I leave, I will have absolute confidence in it becoming even stronger in the future,” Mr Ferrier said.
Sir Henry said that the board would be considering internal and external candidates and an international search was put in place at the end of last year.
“It is possible that we will have identified a suitable candidate by the second half of this year but Andrew is committed to continuing in his role until we have found the right person,” Sir Henry said.
“He has always wanted a planned and orderly transition to a new leader and we are particularly grateful for the flexibility he has shown the board.”
Sir Henry said that neither he nor Andrew would be making any further comment on the transition until the new chief executive had been identified. “As far as we are both concerned, it is business as usual.”
Mr Ferrier was seconded to Fonterra in June 2003.
At the time he said he was attracted to the job by the $2 million-a-year pay.
Before joining Fonterra Mr Ferrier headed Canada's GSW Inc. (GSW.A), a company selling consumer building products and water heaters.
He was also a former president and chief executive of Tate & Lyle North America Sugars Inc.