Fonterra's chief financial officer Jonathan Mason, who played a leading role in the launch of dairy giant's investment fund, has announced his retirement.
New Zealand's biggest company says Mr Mason will retire in the next six months and it is starting an international search to find his replacement.
The softly-spoken former senior executive for American wood products giant International Paper first came to New Zealand from 2000 to 2005 to be cfo at Carter Holt Harvey, which IP owned at the time, before returning to the US.
He came back to take up the senior financial role in Fonterra's management team in 2009, and helped steer the organisation not only through the depths of the global financial crisis, but also the tortuous process of devising a scheme that allowed farmers to realise capital without frightening them into fearing loss of control of the co-operative.
Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings says in a statement Mr Mason will "support" the company until the end of the financial year.
“Jonathan joined Fonterra in the midst of the global financial crisis in 2009 and, under his leadership, ensured the co-operative’s financial position was strengthened through those difficult times."
- with BusinessDesk