Hurrell charged with revitalising Fonterra

New Zealand-based dairy cooperative, Fonterra, has appointed Miles Hurrell as its chief executive. Hurrell has been the interim chief executive since August last year.

The appointment comes at a challenging time for Fonterra, which recently warned that, unless it undergoes a wide-ranging strategic review and a fundamental change of direction, it may be unable to deliver on its potential.

“Our performance is not something that will be fixed overnight,” explained Fonterra chairman, John Monaghan. “It will require the courage to make difficult decisions, be up-front with farmer-owners, unit holders and other stakeholders and instil a culture of accountability and performance right across the organisation.”

According to Monaghan, Hurrell has “the wisdom, skills, experience and, frankly, the backbone needed to lead. His permanent appointment will bring much needed stability to the co-op and our people during a critical period of change”.

Hurrell joined Fonterra in 2000. Before taking up the role of interim chief executive, following the departure of Theo Spierings, he was the co-operative’s chief operating officer of farm source – the unit responsible for working directly with farmer-owners.

Meanwhile, Hurrell has confirmed Judith Swales as Fonterra’s new chief operating officer, global consumer and foodservice. This follows her appointment to the role in an acting capacity earlier this year.

Swales has worked at Fonterra since 2013 and is already a member of the executive team. “Judith has been providing strong leadership into our consumer and foodservice business unit and the momentum she has gathered deserves to be continued,” Hurrell explained.