A key figure in Fonterra’s management team has resigned, returning to France to take a role with his former company Danone.
Pascal De Petrini’s resignation as managing director of the dairy co-operative’s Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa (APMEA) business unit is effective immediately.
Fonterra said he had decided to accept an executive Vice President role with Danone from mid-June this year.
Danone, which owns infant formula business Nutricia, launched legal action against Fonterra after cancelling its supply contract with the dairy co-operative last year.
The companies fell out over the 2013 botulism scare, which Danone says cost it €350m ($545m).
Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings said De Petrini was a strong team player who had set a clear strategy in key APMEA markets.
“We respect his decision to accept a new challenge and thank him for his leadership of our APMEA business during his time with the co-operative,” said Spierings.
“We have begun the process to recruit Pascal’s successor and our aim is to have a final structure in place by 1 August.”
In the meantime, the heads of each region within the APMEA business will report directly to Spierings.
By Richard Meadows