Fonterra farmer shareholders will this week receive voting papers for the 2018 director election.
He will remain a Fonterra director until the cooperative’s annual meeting in November, when he will retire from the Board.
Within the last month Wilson has undergone a significant surgery and will require on-going treatment.
In response to Wilson’s decision, the Fonterra board has selected John Monaghan as the cooperative’s new Chairman.
In a message to farmers earlier today, outgoing chairman John Wilson said the decision to stand down as chair had been difficult but was ultimately in the best interests of the cooperative.
“I have made a very good recovery and am well but will need on-going treatment.
“It has been a privilege to serve you as chairman and give something back to this great cooperative that continues to give my family and me so much.
“As many of you will know from experience, governance roles are incredibly rewarding, but equally demanding on the individual and their families.
“Continuing as chairman when I cannot put my full energy and attention into the role is not appropriate.”
Monaghan is an experienced director and has been on the Fonterra Board since 2008.