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March 5, 2020

Fonterra chairman John Monaghan to step down

Fonterra, the New Zealand dairy heavyweight, has announced that one of its senior executives is to retire in November.

By Leonie Barrie

Fonterra, the New Zealand dairy heavyweight, has announced that its chairman John Monaghan is to retire in November.

The cooperative – the world’s largest dairy exporter – said Monaghan will be stepping down after three years in the role at its annual meeting.

In a note to the cooperative’s farmer-owners and unit-holders, Monaghan said his decision was the next step in the Fonterra board’s development and succession planning.

“After 11 years as a director, and having seen through the introduction of our new strategy, operating model, and with our debt reduction efforts well progressed, the timing is right for me and for the co-op,” he said.

“The board is committed to a planned chair succession that provides [chief executive] Miles [Hurrell] and his senior management team with the governance stability and confidence they need to maintain the co-op’s momentum.”

Fonterra said its board’s current plan was to announce a chair-elect by no later than August this year. That timeline would give its farmer-owners “transparency of leadership” prior to the cooperative’s director elections and allow for a period of handover before Monaghan retires from the board, it suggested.

Under Fonterra’s constitution, its chairperson must be selected from its pool of seven elected farmer directors on the board.

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