Livestock exporter Wellard Limited's foundation figure, Mauro Balzarini, has suddenly "ceased the role" of chief executive officer of the West Australian-based shipping company.
Mr Balzarini has been the CEO of the business for 15 years, and led it to a public listing on the Australian Securities Exchange in 2015.
In a statement to the ASX, Wellard Group said the terms of Mr Balzarini's "departure from Wellard" were currently being finalised.
Wellard provided no extra explanation about Mr Balzarini's departure from the job or the company, however, at present he would remain a board director.
The end of his long management career with the company is the latest in a series of executive level deck chair movements during the past 18 months.
John Klepec, who took over as Wellard's executive chairman last August, continues in that over-arching position.
Mr Klepec became chairman in April last year, having joined Wellard's board in 2016 after a six- year stint as chief development officer with Hancock Prospecting's cattle operations.
For the past nine months Mr Balzarini had worked in partnership with the chairman after the re-recruited operations executive director of operations, Fred Troncone, also unexpectedly left the business in early August.
He had been in the job only about a year, having being hired to help steady the shipping business in the wake of $75.3 million in losses reported in 2016-17.
Mr Balzarini's departure ends an association with the shipping and farming business which began when he joined the family business as a marine technical superintendent in 1985.
He took over the managing the shipping arm in 1994.
A decade later he bought out his family's stake, leading Wellard's growth as Australia's largest live cattle marketer and exporter, with significant export interests overseas.
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