NEW ZEALAND – The a2 Milk Company Limited has announced that its Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Jayne Hrdlicka, has agreed to step down from her role, which she has served for less than 2 years.
Following Jayne departure, the company has appointed its former CEO Geoffrey Babidge to the role as Interim CEO effective immediately as the dairy processor embarks on a global search for a new CEO.
Commenting on the announcement, Chairman David Hearn said: “The Board wishes to thank Jayne for the important contribution she has made to the Company and remains confident that the strategic course of the business.”
“The Board recruited Jayne primarily for her ability and experience in developing and implementing strategy, recognising that the company needed to develop a refined strategy for the business to meet the new challenges in the next phase of our development.
Commenting on the announcement Jayne Hrdlicka said: “The a2 Milk Company is an extraordinary business and I joined the company excited about the opportunity to help define its full potential and deliver against it.
“Board and management have worked closely together to chart the future and it is no doubt bright and we are well advanced in executing it.
“I am delighted with how much progress has been made, the momentum underway in executing the strategy and the strength of the current leadership team.
“My passion and commitment to this great company is unchanged and I will of course work closely with the board and new CEO as required to ensure a smooth transition,” Jayne Hrdlicka said.
Chairman David Hearn said that the company’s Board will work closely with Geoff Babidge to prosecute the current strategy whilst searching for the right fulltime candidate to take the Company forward.
The company hopes to make an appointment before the end of FY20.
On his appointment Geoff Babidge said: “I am delighted to be able to contribute to The a2 Milk Company’s continued success in any way I can.
“I recognise the positive changes that Jayne has brought to the business and will continue to pursue the strategies and plans developed by management and agreed by the Board.”
David Hearn added: “The appointment of Geoffrey Babidge will ensure that the current strategies and plans endorsed by the Board will continue to be implemented seamlessly during the period of transition to a new CEO.”
In addition, Mr. Jesse Wu, a2 Milk’s China based Non-Executive Director will assume a direct oversight role of the a2 China business to support the China management team in executing the recently developed China investment plan.