As part of Fonterra’s second reshuffle in 2015, its New Zealand consumer business has come under the purview of Australian managing director Judith Swales, who had run the Australian unit for the past two years and has now been promoted to managing director Oceania. Whilst Fonterra Brands New Zealand will remain a standalone unit, from now on its managing director will report to Melbourne-based Swales. Fonterra CEO Theo Spierings explained that Ms Swales was the natural choice for the role.
“Judith has a great understanding of consumers and their relationship to brand, and has proven her ability to build effective partnerships in the highly competitive supermarket sector in Australia. By having Judith lead Oceania, we are ensuring the growth of our brands on both sides of the Tasman,” Spierings said. In order to achieve annual savings of $103 million, Fonterra has so far laid off 750 staff who were employed in a wide range of positions, from administration to sales roles.