Key Zespri senior leadership announcements

Media Release - 25 November 2014

The new role of Chief Operating Officer (COO) has been created at Zespri to provide leadership on the supply side of the business and Simon Limmer has been appointed to this role.

Zespri Chief Executive Lain Jager explains the COO will help to generate an ‘end-to-end’ view of the supply chain.

“The new role of COO will better integrate Zespri supply as the Zespri Global Supply (ZGS) business continues to grow and new cultivars and markets are added to the business, as well as taking responsibility for relations with growers and the New Zealand government,” says Lain.

Zespri is looking forward to strong global growth as the industry recovers from the impact of Psa and new SunGold volumes come online.

“The kiwifruit industry will experience very strong growth over the next five years and the new executive structure will support this growth,” says Lain.

In this role, Simon will support global collaboration, best practice and standardisation of metrics and processes in the supply chain, while leaving regional and country managers directly accountable for in-market operations. He will transition out of his current roles as General Manager of both the Grower and Government Relations team and the China market by the end of the year.

“I'm also pleased to announce another two important appointments to Zespri’s executive leadership team, with David Hazlehurst starting as CFO in February and Blair Hamill’s appointment as General Manager Supply Chain. I’m confident that this new executive structure and these three appointments will support the strong increase in industry growth over the next few years,” says Lain.

Simon Limmer
Since joining Zespri in 2008, Simon has held general management roles with ZGS and Grower and Government Relations and, since early 2013, as GM China. Before starting with Zespri in 2008, Simon had 14 years’ international general management and business development experience with Veolia Environment, the €30 billion global leader in environmental services.

David Hazlehurst
Most recently, David held the role of CFO and Vice President, Commercial and Pacific Islands for NZ Steel, a NZ$1 billion business. In this position, he led many strategic projects including the NZ$ 170 million investment in the Pacific Steel business and headed a 250-strong team. David also held a number of senior roles at Fonterra.

Blair Hamill
Blair Hamill has been announced as General Manager Supply Chain, as Sally Gardiner leaves Zespri in December. Blair started with Zespri in 2000 and has extensive New Zealand supply chain experience, and recently delivered excellent results as General Manager of Zespri Global Supply (ZGS).
Blair has already started working alongside Sally and Simon Limmer in his new role of Chief Operating Officer to ensure a smooth transition, preparing the business for the busy season ahead. Blair will maintain responsibility for the ZGS business as the Northern Hemisphere season commences and recruitment work is underway to fill this role.

General Manager Science & Innovation Dave Tanner also leaves at the end of the year. Recruitment work is underway to find his replacement.
Lain says Zespri thanks and acknowledges Dave and Sally’s outstanding contributions to the kiwifruit industry during their time at Zespri.

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