Wrightson, the unlisted farmers’ cooperative in which newly merged dairy conglomerate Fonterrra holds a 19.9% stake, is in hurry to replace Mike Smith, who recently left his position as a director on the board.

Wrightson chairman John Palmer said it was not “important” for Smith to be replaced immediately, and commented that Fonterra chairman John Roadley had been relaxed on the issue when it was discussed.

Smith is believed to have left the company over concerns about the leadership style of the heads of Fonterra. Analysts doubted his departure would adversely affect Wrightson’s position.