AUSTRALIA – Bubs Australia Limited, a global producer of baby food, dairy products, and infant formulas, has expelled its Chief Executive Officer and founder, Kristy Carr from the company for failure to comply with “reasonable board directions”.

According to the company, the company’s non-executive directors have decided to change its leadership and governance framework, to ensure that it aligns with ASX Corporate Governance Principles and best practices.

“We acknowledge Kristy’s long service to Bubs and the role she has played in building the Bubs brand to the position it enjoys today,” said new chair Katrina Rathie, who was appointed to the role on April 11.

Carr founded Bubs in her kitchen on Sydney’s northern beaches almost two decades ago while on maternity leave from her communications job at a global firm.

The mother of three was dismayed by the baby food on offer and began experimenting with making her own.

In the company’s ASX statement, Rathie said it was important for the company to evolve from a founder-led business to a company with a “deeply experienced” board and chair who would help guide and mentor management, oversee growth, exercise fiscal responsibility and help navigate financial and non-financial risks.

“As a growing company now operating in three core markets, it is critically important that the newly reconstituted Bubs board under my leadership has strategic oversight over our expansion plans, as well as financial and non-financial risks as we look into rapidly changing economic circumstances and evolving markets,” she said.

The infant formula maker, which produces products using goat’s milk, had its trading debut on the ASX in January 2017 at 10 cents a share and soared to US$1.42 in early 2019 amid strong demand from the Chinese market.

Its popularity shot globally last year after a tweet by US President Joe Biden thanking Bubs Australia for its assistance in patching the US infant formula crisis went viral.

This saw the Dandenong-based baby formula maker supplying millions of bottles to American families in a deal aided by the former treasurer and ambassador to the US Joe Hockey.

Its entry into the highly competitive and tightly held American infant formula market prompted the company to turn its focus on growing further in the US and China, which helped it turn a profit for the first time in the 2022 financial year.

Bubs also announced that Dennis Lin, who stepped down from the role of Executive Chairman last month, has had his employment terminated from the company. He had been working with the board during the transition period. 

It further confirmed that Katrina Rathie has been elected chair, replacing Lin,  while Reg Wiene has been appointed as an independent non-executive director. 

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