OPINION: The unexpected departure of A2 Milk’s chief executive last week was an unpleasant, but timely reminder of the destruction of value often seen between the farmgate and the end market.
Australian-based Hrdlicka resigned this morning after 18 months on the job: she has been replaced by former managing director Geoffery Babidge as interim CEO.
In an a2 Milk statement to NZX, Hrdlicka says a2 Milk Company is an extraordinary business.
“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.
“The reality however is that the next 3-5 years will continue to require the CEO being present in our core markets of China and the US and that combined with running a New Zealand company based in Australia required more travel than I had anticipated when I joined the company.
“The board and I agreed that this next phase is going to be too difficult to manage alongside my other commitments whilst also managing the health and wellness priorities of my family and me.
“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,” Hrdlicka said.
Hrdlicka, the former CEO of Jetstar, is chairman of Tennis Australia: re-elected for a second three-year term last month.
A2 Milk chairman David Hearn thanked her for the important contribution she has made to the company.
Babidge says he is delighted “to be able to contribute to 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.”