Fonterra appoints new CEO

Fonterra appoints new CEO

Fonterra has appointed Dutchman Theo Spierings as its new CEO. Spierings will take over from Fonterra's departing CEO Andrew Ferrier, effective September 26.


Fonterra has appointed Dutchman Theo Spierings as its new CEO.

Spierings, who led the Dutch farmer dairy co-operative, Royal Friesland Foods, into a merger with Campina in 2008, will take over from Fonterra's departing CEO Andrew Ferrier, effective September 26.

Fonterra's Chairman Sir Henry van der Heyden said Spierings would bring to Fonterra 25 years of knowledge of the global dairy industry.

"Spierings has a wealth of experience in managing dairy businesses across Asia, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Europe," Sir Henry said.

"Most importantly, Spierings has an in-built respect for the co-operative structure and for farmers and their commitment to co-operative principles. He is well recognised by his peers for his people leadership, delivery of results and strong strategic skills."

Spierings was acting CEO of Royal Friesland Foods when it merged with Campina.

He left the company shortly after completing the merger as, prior to the transaction, both parties had already agreed on an independent CEO to take the new entity forward.

Spierings said the role of CEO for Fonterra was a great opportunity, working in the industry he loved.

"I am honoured to be invited to lead Fonterra into its second decade," he said.

Spierings said he was familiar with both Fonterra and its key people and had great respect for the foresight New Zealand farmers had shown in creating Fonterra in the first place.

"A huge amount has been achieved in the past 10 years since Fonterra was established. Trading Among Farmers - the newly approved capital structure - is a good example. But what makes Fonterra really unique is its combination of low-cost pasture based farming and its status as the world's largest milk processor."

"I am acutely aware of Fonterra's importance to the New Zealand economy and look forward to leading an organisation that has the potential to have such a positive impact on its home country."

Spierings, 46, currently lives in The Netherlands.

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