Zespri chooses head of sales Dan Mathieson as new CEO

The company has been searching for a replacement for Lain Jager for over a year.

Zespri, New Zealand's statutory kiwifruit exporter, has chosen its global president of sales and marketing Dan Mathieson as its new chief executive.

Mathieson, who first joined Zespri in 2003, has worked in multiple roles in the business primarily based in Asia. Chair Peter McBride said Mathieson has an impressive track record and in his time leading the company's sales and marketing he had grown Zespri's mature markets and diversified the business into new markets.

"Dan's appointment is the logical evolution of Zespri's strategy to grow market demand and create value for customers and consumers, along with growing sustainable returns for Zespri's grower-shareholders," McBride said. "This appointment reflects the development of Zespri and the industry over the last five years, along with the continuation of our strategy to market the world's leading portfolio of kiwifruit 12 months of the year."

The company began searching for a replacement for outgoing CEO Lain Jager a year ago, with Jager having been in the role since 2008. Mathieson will take over the role with immediate effect, the company said. About half of Zespri's 500 staff are based offshore, and it has a sales and marketing hub in Singapore, where Mathieson lives.

In the 2017 season, the Te Puke-based company achieved distributable profit for its grower shareholders of $34.8 million in the year to March 31 on a 19 percent increase in turnover of $2.26 billion.

Payments to New Zealand growers per tray supplied fell 1 percent to $9.46, although total payments were up 21 percent at $1.39 billion because of a steep increase in total supply. Domestic and international production of gold kiwifruit rose 48 percent to 53.2 million trays, 47.9 million of which were grown in New Zealand.

(BusinessDesk)