Freedom Foods new CFO appointed

Freedom Foods acting CFO resigns, new CFO appointed

Agribusiness
BATTLING: The new CFO at Freedom Foods started this week.

BATTLING: The new CFO at Freedom Foods started this week.

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Embattled dairy processor Freedom Foods new chief financial officer Josee Lemoine has taken up the position this week.

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Embattled dairy processor Freedom Foods new chief financial officer Josee Lemoine has taken up the position this week.

Ms Lemoine's appointment is a key part of the company's move to try to rebuild after a disastrous 12 months.

In November the financially stretched food processor announced a $174.5 million statutory loss after tax for 2019-20 and a 125 per cent blow out in debt to $275 million.

It also admitted to a blowout in write-downs and revised financial reports totalling almost $600 million over several years during what was previously portrayed as a time of rapid growth.

This followed shock revelations in June of a board investigation finding a trail of unexpected debts, revenue shortfalls and outdated inventory at the company.

Then CFO Campbell Nicholas resigned in June prior to then managing director Rory Macleod taking a week's leave and later departing permanently.

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Stephanie Graham was appointed as acting CFO in June.

Freedom announced on Friday that Ms Graham has tendered her resignation, with Ms Lemoine to start immediately.

Ms Lemoine's appointment was announced in October and she was originally slated to start in the new role in November and then December.

Friday's announcement said that Ms Lemoine has been working with the company's finance team since November.

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In October, Freedom's interim CEO Michael Perich in announcing Ms Lemoine's appointment said she brought extensive experience in strategic, finance and governance roles in ASX listed entities.

She had a strong track record in senior executive positions across multiple industries, including fast-moving consumer goods, building products manufacturing, media, mining and telecommunications.

Her most recent role was as CFO of Invocare.

Before that she held senior finance roles with Telstra, Rio Tinto, Fairfax, Boral and Arnotts.

Her first priority on joining the company would be to focus on improving reporting, financial controls and stakeholder management.

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