Fletcher Building appoints Sir Ralph Norris to the board

Sir Ralph Norris

Fletcher Building, the country's biggest listed company, has appointed former Commonwealth Bank of Australia boss Sir Ralph Norris to its board as it prepares for the departure of chairman Ralph Waters later this year.

Norris's appointment as an independent director will be effective from April, and will temporarily swell the board's size to nine until Waters' retirement at the end of the year, the Auckland-based company said in a statement. Norris is current a director of Fonterra Cooperative Group and Origin Energy, and has previously been chief executive of CBA and Air New Zealand.

"He will bring valuable skills and experience form leading large organisations, both in New Zealand and Australia," Waters said.

The appointment comes after a column in the New Zealand Herald on Saturday by Milford Asset Management's Brian Gaynor questioning the strength of Fletcher's governance, and the apparently low level of communication between chairman Waters and chief executive Mark Adamson.

Shares in Fletcher slipped 0.5 percent to $8.93 yesterday, and are up 4.9 percent this year.


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Fletcher building gets an easy ride in NZ, yet there are still murmurs. The appointment of Mr Norris even if temporary is good news.

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Very good appointment. I am surprised you did not mention that Sir Ralph is a former long time director of Fletcher.

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Obvious a disconnect between Adamson and Waters. Perhaps Adamson is too busy running the Company his way, as he should. Norris will be a real asset.

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