GrainCorp appoints Fonterra exec to top job

GrainCorp appoints Fonterra exec to top job

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Robert Spurway, Fonterra chief operating officer, will head up the GrainCorp business if it gets approval to offload its malt business.

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Robert Spurway will be the new managing director of GrainCorp.

Robert Spurway will be the new managing director of GrainCorp.

FONTERRA chief operating officer (COO) Robert Spurway has been appointed to the top job at soon to be demerged GrainCorp.

Should the deal to demerge GrainCorp's malt business from the rest of the organisation be successful, Mr Spurway will replace current chief executive Mark Palmquist.

Mr Palmquist will remain with the malt business, but will relocate to North America.

There are a number of processes that need to be signed off before the deal can become official, including passing a vote of shareholders at the annual general meeting, which will be held in February next year.

Unofficial estimates are for the deal to go through some time around March if everything proceeds without a hitch.

Mr Spurway has held the COO position at Fonterra for the past six years during a tumultuous period for the dairy sector and has been in charge of Fonterra's global operations and its manufacturing and supply chain operations.

He will relocate from Christchurch in NZ to Sydney as part of the role.

GrainCorp chairman Graham Bradley said it Mr Spurway's experience in overseeing businesses in transition that had appealed to the GrainCorp board.

"Robert has led complex operational businesses and overseen transformational change programmes which have delivered significant benefits for customers and shareholders," Mr Bradley said.

He said Mr Spurway's experience in the Australia / New Zealand ag sector would also hold him in good stead.

Mr Spurway will be handsomely rewarded for his toil, with fixed remuneration of $950,000 a year along with short and long term incentives.

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