Synlait Milk names new chief executive

by Kent Caddick

Dunsandel-based Synlait Milk has appointed former managing director of Fonterra Brands New Zealand, Leon Clement, as its new chief executive officer in mid-August.

The company says the appointment is the outcome of a global recruitment search undertaken following co-founder and inaugural CEO John Penno’s announcement late last year of his intention to stand down.

Having held numerous senior leadership positions throughout his career, Mr Clement said he was excited by the opportunities Synlait had created and is looking forward to taking on the role of CEO.

“I’m passionate about New Zealand agriculture, and growing people and businesses in a sustainable way,” Clement said.

“That’s why I’m so excited to be joining the Synlait team at such a pivotal time. The progress to date is impressive and under John’s leadership Synlait has achieved some significant milestones, which have set the business up well for the next phase of growth. The business is in fantastic shape, and we will continue to target sustainable growth by leveraging the potential within our organisation, as well as the potential in the markets and customers we partner with.”

Synlait board chairman Graeme Milne said Synlait was in a fortunate position to make an orderly leadership transition as it has the full support of outgoing CEO John Penno, who will continue in a governance role from August.