TasFoods will have a new CEO in March as Scott Hadley announced his resignation from the Australian poultry, cheese and pet-food business.

The Launceston, Tasmania-based company’s current finance chief, Josh Fletcher, will step into the CEO role on 29 March, a day after Hadley departs.

Hadley has been at the helm of TasFoods since October 2021 after joining the business from drinks giant Asahi Group Holdings. He plans to “pursue a new career opportunity”, according to a filing with the Australian Securities Exchange today (15 January).

Fletcher has been CFO at the business since last April, also holding the position of company secretary. Leanne Pritchard, currently TasFoods’ financial controller, will take over Fletcher’s role.

Outgoing Hadley had recently instigated TasFoods’ expansion in poultry with the acquisition in December of Tasmania’s Redbank Poultry for A$1.3m ($866,103 today). That deal was struck through the company’s Nichols Hatchery subsidiary and was funded from the sale in August of the Betta Milk and Meander Valley Dairy brands to the Bega Group.

TasFoods still retains the Pyengana Dairy brand range of cheeses.

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Also last year, TasFoods sold its Shima Wasabi spices unit to local fruit business Hillwood Berries under a “reviewed and refreshed” strategic plan launched by Hadley to cut the number of brands and SKUs.

In October, TasFoods also announced its entry to the pet-food category with the Australia launch of the Isle & Sky brand catering to cats and dogs.

Hadley said: “The changes we have made as a group since October 2021 have been significant and could not have been achieved without an all-of-company approach.

“With much of the restructure completed and strong foundations now in place, I feel now is the right time for the company, and me personally, to implement a management change that will enable new leadership to take the business forward.”

Despite the structural changes at TasFoods, the company still reported a loss for the first half of the fiscal year to 30 June – A$3.8m versus an A$5.4m loss a year earlier. That was based on revenue of A$38.2m, up 11.8% from the corresponding period of 2022.

Incoming CEO Fletcher added: “I am looking forward to building on the solid foundation and financial position that exists today by working closely with the team to deliver exceptional operational performance and further develop our brands to drive improved returns for our company and our shareholders.”

TasFoods’ shares closed unchanged at 0.026 Australian cents today.