Fonterra’s restructuring continues apace with the dairy exporter naming Mercury NZ boss Fraser Whineray as its new chief operating officer.
The NZ dairy producer said Mr Whineray would move into the newly created role in early 2020, with the former Credit Suisse, Puhoi Valley Cheese and Carter Holt Harvey man having spent the past five years as chief executive of renewable energy firm Mercury.
Fonterra chief executive Miles Hurrell said Mr Whineray was no stranger to the dairy industry, having started his career as a graduate of the NZ Dairy Board’s technical training program.
He will join Fonterra as the dairy producer seeks to bounce back from its heaviest ever full-year loss, which was driven by $NZ826 million of writedowns, almost $NZ550 million of which was related to its operations in China, Brazil and Venezuela.
The firm’s sustainability plan includes splitting its business along geographical lines into three parts, which will help it refocus on a domestic business that was impaired by $NZ210 million because of increased competition and operational challenges.
Mr Whineray held several senior leadership roles at Mercury after he joined in 2008, and was central to the company’s divestment of overseas interests and the sale of its former smart metering business, Metrix.