Fonterra shakes management of key Asian unit

Fonterra Cooperative Group’s managing director of the Asia Pacific/Middle East/Africa (APMEA) unit Mark Wilson will leave at the end of the month to attend to “family health matters” after overseeing a management restructure of the regional business.

Chief executive Theo Spierings said Wilson had overseen the creation of the new APMEA unit in November when the Australia and New Zealand businesses were bundled with the ASEAN/Middle East/North Africa unit to drive “synergies and scale” in the dairy exporter’s consumer business. Fonterra has started looking for a replacement for Wilson.

“It has been a big undertaking and with all the key management now in place for APMEA, Mark has decided due to some family health matters that the time is right for him to leave the cooperative, which he will do at the end of April,” Spierings said.

The unit’s new leadership was confirmed today with the appointment of former Heinz Australasian executive Judith Swales appointed managing director Australia.

The creation of the larger regional unit prompted the exit of Australia New Zealand managing director John Doumani.

Under new chief Spierings, the cooperative expanded its senior management team with a greater regional focus to latch on to opportunities in emerging markets.

Fonterra management previously operated under large silos headed up by handful of executives, and the dairy exporter wanted to reduce the complexity and potential for duplication.

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