Fonterra CEO resigns, payout up but dividend down

Rural Exchange 24/03/2018

Theo Spiering may not get a fond farewell from Fonterra’s 10,000 shareholders after stepped down as the CEO of cooperative.

Despite his significant contributions over his seven year tenure, the dairy giant posted a loss of $348 million.

Fonterra Shareholders' Council chairman Duncan Coull joined Rural Exchange to weigh in on the financial loss and Mr Spiering’s exit.

“It’d be fair to say it’s an unacceptable situation,” he told Rural Exchange.

He told the team that the overall response has been “muted” so far but there is definitely disappointment amongst shareholders.

The real question now is what we do going forward. 

The half year loss of $348 million came after Fonterra’s failed Chinese acquisitions lowered the dividend to farmers in spite of a raise to the payout.

“There are aspects of our China investments that need some attention

“The real question now is what we do going forward,” he said.

The announcement of the CEOs departure was expected in April but was brought forward, and Mr Spierings will leave the role later this year.

Watch the full interview with Duncan Coull above.

Rural Exchange with Hamish McKay, Sarah Perriam and Richard Loe, 5-7am Saturday and Sunday on RadioLIVE with Carter’s Tyre Service. Click here for all the ways to watch and listen.