Zespri creates new role

Kiwifruit marketers Zespri have created a new role to provide leadership to the supply chain side of the business.

Simon Limmer has been appointed as the company’s new chief operating officer.

Zespri chief executive Lain Jager says the role will help to generate an ‘end-to-end’ view of the supply chain.

“It will better integrate Zespri supply as the Zespri Global Supply business continues to grow and new cultivars and markets are added to the business,” says Lain.

Simon will also take responsibility for relations with growers and the New Zealand government.

Zespri is looking forward to strong global growth as the industry recovers from the impact of Psa and new SunGold volumes come online.

“The kiwifruit industry will experience very strong growth over the next five years and the new executive structure will support this growth,” adds Lain.

Within the role, Simon will support global collaboration, best practice and standardisation of metrics and processes in the supply chain, while leaving regional and country managers directly accountable for in-market operations.

He will transition out of his current roles as general manager of both the grower and government relations team and the China market by the end of the year.

“I’m also pleased to announce another two important appointments to Zespri’s executive leadership team, with David Hazlehurst starting as CFO in February and Blair Hamill’s appointment as general manager supply chain,” says Lain.

“I’m confident that this new executive structure and these three appointments will support the strong increase in industry growth over the next few years.”

Most recently, David held the role of CFO and vice president, commercial and Pacific Islands for NZ Steel - a $1 billion business.

In this position, he led many strategic projects including the $170 million investment in the Pacific Steel business and headed a 250-strong team. David also held a number of senior roles at Fonterra.

Blair started with Zespri in 2000, has extensive New Zealand supply chain experience and recently delivered excellent results as general manager of Zespri Global Supply.

He has already started working alongside current general manager supply chain Sally Gardiner and Simon to ensure a smooth transition, preparing the business for the busy season ahead.

Blair will maintain responsibility for the ZGS business as the Northern Hemisphere season commences and recruitment work is underway to fill this role.

Zespri General Manager Science & Innovation Dave Tanner also leaves at the end of the year, with recruitment work is underway to find his replacement.

Lain says Zespri thanks and acknowledges Dave and Sally’s outstanding contributions to the kiwifruit industry during their time with the company.

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