Appointing a CEO Sunday, May 4, 2003
It is expected that Fonterra will announce this week who will take the role of chief executive officer of the cooperative for the next period.
Whilst the current director elections maybe seen from the shareholders point of view as being more important, It is the CEO who has the prime responsibility for company's operations and its success in the international marketplace
Being CEO of major corporations or cooperatives is certainly a hazardous occupation as exampled by the frequent and expensive changes that occur in publicly listed companies.
The excitement and hope that was generated in the creation of the giant cooperative is now tempered by the reality of the difficult task now visible in realising the original promise. The current CEO Craig Norgate makes claim that he deserves more time to prove his worth.
Of all the decisions that the Fonterra board will make this year its CEO appointment will be the most critical.
Whoever is appointed will have a very difficult task of marketing Fonterra bi- directionally. Not only must the cooperatives customers be satisfied with products that meet the requirements but equally important, under current payout conditions, Fonterra’s suppliers are seeking and deserve reassurance that the best is being realised from the market for the raw material that they supply.
From time to time the future of an organisation comes down to a single moment of decision. It could prove that this is one of those moments. Let us hope that the current board has had the courage and insight to make the right decision.