Mark Allison named new Elders CEO

Beef Central, 30/04/2014

New Elders CEO and Managing Director Mark Allison

In an announcement lodged with the ASX this morning, the Elders Limited board has announced that former Wesfarmers Landmark managing director Mark Allison, who has been chairing Elders since the depature of Malcolm Jackman as CEO in November 2013, has now been appointed CEO and Managing Director of the organisation.

Mr Allison has resigned as chairman of the Elders board and has been replaced by former DuPont managing director Hutch Ranck, with James Jackson as Deputy Chair.

Mr Allison and Mr Ranck both have strong backgrounds in the cropping and crop protection industries. In a media release issued this morning Elders said that in appointing a new CEO with extensive agribusiness experience, it has taken another step to cement itself as a pure agribusiness.

The Elders announcement to the ASX reads as follows:

Elders Limited (ASX:ELD) advises that Mark Allison, who has been chairing Elders’ Executive Committee since the departure of the former CEO in November 2013, has been appointed Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, effective 1 May 2014. Accordingly, Mr Allison has resigned as Chairman of the Elders Board.

Hutch Ranck has been elected independent non-executive Chairman by the Board. In addition, James Jackson has been elected Deputy Chairman.

Following an extensive recruitment process conducted by executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles which included internal and external candidates, the Board determined that Mr Allison was the best candidate for the CEO role. Mr Allison has extensive agribusiness sector and corporate strategy experience and has had close involvement with Elders’ operations over the last five months in chairing the Executive Committee.

Mark Allison was previously Chief Executive Officer of Grain Growers Limited and has also held CEO positions with Wesfarmers Landmark, Wesfarmers CSBP, Makhteshim Agan Australasia, and CropCare Australasia.

Chairman Hutch Ranck said, “the skill set Mark has demonstrated in his work over recent months with the executive team as well as his experience as the CEO of several successful rural businesses are crucial attributes now that Elders is operating as a pure agribusiness.

“Mark has proven experience in driving organisation-wide improvement across key areas such as safety, operational performance and capital management and this aligns with the priorities the Elders Board set out to shareholders at the 2013 AGM.

“In particular, Mark’s experience in running a rural distribution network and his understanding of the opportunities and challenges facing the rural industry, both domestically and abroad, are highly relevant to Elders’ operations,” Mr Ranck said.

Mr Allison, who will be based in Adelaide, said, “I am honoured to take on the CEO role at Elders as the company continues its progress as a pure agribusiness.

“Elders is a company with an established branch network, an internationally recognised brand and market-leading positions in key product areas and geographies and we owe it to all our stakeholders to perform to our potential and deliver real value.

“We will continue our focus on creating a culture that is values, safety and performance-based. We will strive to strengthen and expand our domestic retail, agency and financial service products and international operations. We’ll also continue to pursue our capital management and balance sheet improvement objectives.

“I am mindful that Elders’ staff, clients, security-holders, suppliers and financiers have been through significant change and challenging times in recent years, but I am very encouraged by the progress we are now making towards our goals,” Mr Allison said.


Profiles on the new appointments:

Elders Chair: James Hutchison (Hutch) Ranck, BS Econ, FAICD

Non-executive director
Age 66 – Non-executive director of the Board since June 2008. He is also Chairman of the Elders Occupational Health and Safety Committee and a member of the Nomination and Prudential Committee, the Remuneration and Human Resources Committee, and the Audit, Risk and Complaince Committee. Hutch retired as Managing Director of DuPont (Australia) and Group Managing Director of DuPont ASEAN in May 2010 . In his 31 years with DuPont Hutch has led businesses in ANZ and Asia Pacific in Agriculture, Pharmaceuticals, and Industrial Chemicals. In the last 10 years Hutch has served as a director in a variety of companies and organisations including, The Business Council of Australia, an Australian Government Statutory Authority -APVMA, The Chemical and Plastics Association –PACIA, and The Crop Chemical Association – Crop Life. From 2000 until 2010 Hutch was a member of the Prime Minister’s Science , Engineering and Innovation Council – PMSEIC. Mr Ranck is a resident of New South Wales.

Elders Deputy Chair: James Jackson

Age 51 – Non-executive director of the Board since April 2014. He is also a member of the Elders Remuneration and Human Resources Committee and the Occupational Health and Safety Committee. Mr Jackson has more than 25 years’ experience in capital markets and agribusiness, both in Australia and overseas. He held a Senior Vice President role with investment bank SG Warburg (now part of UBS) in New York and was a director of MSF Sugar Limited from 2004 to 2012, including being Chairman from 2008. Mr Jackson owns and operates a beef cattle enterprise in northern New South Wales and is a resident of New South Wales.

Elders CEO and MD: Mark Charles Allison, BAgrSc, BEcon, GDM, FAICD

Age 51 – Appointed Chairman in June, 2013. Non-executive director of the Board since November 2009. He is also Chairman of the Remuneration and Human Resources Committee, and a member of the Occupational Health and Safety Committee, the Nomination and Prudential Committee, and the Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee. He has extensive experience spanning 25 years in the agribusiness sector. He is a former Managing Director of Wesfarmers Landmark Limited and Wesfarmers CSBP Limited. Prior to his appointment at Wesfarmers in 2001, Mr Allison held senior positions with Orica Limited as General Manager of Crop Care Australasia and with Incitec Limited as General Manager – Fertilisers. Between 1982 and 1996 Mr Allison performed a series of senior sales, marketing and technical roles in the Crop Protection, Animal Health and Fertiliser industries. Mr Allison was the Managing Director of Makhteshim Agan Australasia Pty Ltd from 2005 to 2007 and Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Jeminex Limited from 2007 to 2008. Mr Allison is a resident of New South Wales.

Source: Elders Limited



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