New Zealand-based seafood group Sanford has appointed present director David Mair as its new CEO.

He enters the role with immediate effect, the company said in a statement released today (1 May).

Mair takes over from Craig Ellison, who has been acting as interim CEO at Sanford since August 2023, following Peter Reidie’s resignation.

At the time, Sanford chairman Sir Rob McLeod said the business had faced “a very challenging marketplace, the supply chain and other disruptions bequeathed by the Covid pandemic, labour shortages, persistently high inflation and geopolitical instability”.

Ellison will stay on the Auckland-based group’s board as a non-independent director.

Appointed to Sanford’s board in 2022, Mair’s experience includes being in an executive role at construction products manufacturer Skellerup Holdings since 2011.

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He is said to have left his position at the NZX-listed group “earlier this year”.

Prior to Skellerup, he also interacted as independent director at Australian dairy processors A2 Milk until their listing on ASX in 2015.

Mair is also a non-executive director of Kiwi investment management group Forte Funds Management Limited.

Commenting on the appointment, McLeod, said: “We are very fortunate to have David as CEO and I am confident that he will deliver exceptional results”.

Mair will remain on the board as an executive director, following his move into the CEO role.

In a statement, David Mair said: “I appreciate the support of the board and look forward to working with the people I have already met and meeting those I haven’t. I am excited about seeing Sanford reach its potential as a sustainable high-quality seafood supplier, rewarding both shareholders and staff”.

Set up in 1881, Sanford processes a range of local fish and seafood, such as greenshell mussels, scampi, New Zealand sole, hake and yellowbelly flounder, among others.

As well as New Zealand, the group also supplies its goods globally in Europe, North America, the Middle East, Australia and a number of Asian markets, such as Japan, South Korea and China.

Around 1,400 people work for Sanford, across its nine aquaculture sites, five processing plants, three fishing ports and fish market, located across the island.