New Zealand’s Fonterra on Wednesday appointed Miles Hurrell as the cooperative’s interim chief executive, days after cutting its earnings forecast, citing tighter margins.
Hurrell is currently the chief operating officer of Farm Source – the unit responsible for working directly with Fonterra’s farmer-owners. He takes over from Theo Spierings, whose departure as part of a planned succession process was announced in March.
Fonterra cut its earnings guidance for the second time in three months last week, and lowered its forecast milk payout, to bolster its balance sheet amid tighter than expected margins.
Fonterra said it had stopped its global hunt for a CEO after Hurrell’s interim appointment while it assesses its current portfolio and direction.
In his current role at Farm Source, Hurrell oversees Fonterra’s farming strategy, which includes farmer services and engagement, milk sourcing and the chain of 70 Farm Source rural retail stores throughout New Zealand. He also holds a governance role with the Global Dairy Platform.
In its guidance cut last week, Fonterra had also revised its fiscal 2018 farmgate milk price – the price it pays farmers – down by 5 cents to NZ$6.70 per kg of milk solids.
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