The Board of Directors of Zespri will start a search process next year to select a new Chief Executive Officer. The succession is being planned with a view to having the new CEO in place by the beginning of 2018.
The current CEO Lain Jager, who was appointed Zespri CEO in December 2008, will remain in the role until the new CEO starts.
Zespri Chairman Peter McBride says the Board is balancing continuity and renewal in the leadership of the organisation. “The Zespri Board has set out a process for succession at an optimal time. The timeframe helps to ensure continuity through this transition, which is important given Zespri’s critical role in the value chain for kiwifruit growers and customers globally.”
“At the same time, Zespri now has an experienced and stable management team in place and the Board will consider both potential internal and external candidates for the position,” says Mr McBride.
During Lain’s tenure as CEO, the industry has recovered well from Psa. Zespri has delivered success with the commercialisation of SunGold and has expanded sales in both new and mature markets around the world.
“The transition comes at a time of strong growth and significant opportunity for the industry,” says Mr McBride.
Lain Jager has served as CEO of Zespri for nearly a decade and Mr McBride notes his enormous contribution to the New Zealand kiwifruit industry.
“Lain’s record speaks for itself. He has helped the business manage the opportunities and challenges which come with growth. Global sales have nearly doubled during his tenure, and value created for growers and shareholders has increased strongly.
“Furthermore, Lain has provided strategic direction and overseen the development of Zespri’s organisational culture. Under Lain’s leadership, Zespri has strengthened our systems, policies and processes which together support the company’s globalisation and build one company with one culture. This sets Zespri up well for capturing the strong growth opportunities ahead,” says Mr McBride.
Mr Jager comments: “Working as part of the industry leadership team and with Zespri employees and partners around the world is a huge privilege. I am looking forward to supporting the succession process and helping the Board of Directors in providing leadership continuity through this period. I also am excited about the 2017 season and look forward to my final year working with growers and Zespri partners globally.”