NEW ZEALAND – Auckland-based and New Zealand’s largest seafood company, Sanford, has announced the resignation of its CEO, Peter Reidie on August 1, 2023.
According to Sanford Chairman Rob McLeod, Sanford Board Member, Craig Ellison has been appointed as interim CEO, while remaining a part of the board as the board commences the search for a new CEO.
McLeod noted that Craig has extensive seafood sector, managerial, and governance experience, and the Sanford board is very pleased he has agreed to serve as our interim chief executive.
Peter Reidie has resigned after putting New Zealand’s largest seafood company on course to recover pre-Covid profit levels.
“I thank Peter for his dedication and leadership at Sanford during a period of extremely challenging local and international business conditions,” McLeod said.
“These include a very challenging marketplace, the supply chain and other disruptions bequeathed by the Covid pandemic, labour shortages, persistently high inflation and geopolitical instability.”
The chair venerated Peter for a successful lead in the company through the post-pandemic challenges and other listed challenges.
He added that Reidie will remain with Sanford on a contract basis to assist with the handover and to consult on some key projects.
Reidie started as Sanford’s CEO in December 2020, three months after longtime CEO Volker Kuntzsch stepped down from the position.
In his profile, Reidie previously served as CEO of the Farmlands Cooperative Society, a New Zealand farming cooperative, for five years, and before that, managing director for Australia and New Zealand at food manufacturer Goodman Fielder.
He later took over Sanford after it was deeply affected by the economic fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic, with its profits falling by almost 50% in 2020.
In a press release, Reidie said he was happy to have guided Sanford to a return to growth, with improved performance across sales revenue, margins, and profitability.
“The company is well advanced on its post-Covid recovery and significant structural and leadership changes have been made,” he said.
“I have enjoyed working with Sanford’s people since April 2021. They have shown enormous resilience, perseverance, and character at an extraordinary time. For me, after I’ve finished some important projects at Sanford, it’s time to move on and focus on family, personal, and other commitments.”
In H1 2023, Sanford posted revenue of US$ 173.6 million up 2.5% year-over-year. The higher revenue coincided with a higher net profit after tax of US$ 6.9 million, up from US$ 3.8 million posted in H1 2022.
The company also posted adjusted earnings before interest and taxes of US$ 16.6 million, in H1 2023, a 38.7% increase over the same period in 2022.