Fonterra Chairman Stands Down After Serious Health Scare

(Bloomberg) -- Fonterra Cooperative Group Chairman John Wilson has resigned with immediate effect, citing a serious health scare.

Auckland-based Fonterra has appointed director John Monaghan as its new chairman, it said in a statement Friday. Wilson will quit the board in November, it said.

Wilson has undergone significant surgery within the last month and requires on-going treatment. “Continuing as chairman when I cannot put my full energy and attention into the role is not appropriate,” he said.

Fonterra, the world’s biggest dairy exporter, posted a first-half loss after writing down the value of its investment in China’s Beingmate Baby & Child and including a damages payment to Danone SA. In mid-June, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones called on Wilson “to take the next cab out of town,” saying the company had become disconnected from the farming community and hadn’t shown sufficient accountability for recent losses.

Monaghan has been on the Fonterra board for 10 years. The company said he has been closely involved in the process to find a new chief executive after current boss Theo Spierings announced in March he will quit later this year.

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