NZ Dairy giant Fonterra has named a new interim CEO. Chief operating officer of Farm Source, Miles Hurrell will take over as CEO of the Co-operative effective immediately following the departure of Theo Spierings.

With 18 years of experience working for Fonterra, Hurrell who previously worked directly for farmers will be responsible for Fonterra’s global co-operative strategy.

“Appointing a new CEO is the most critical decision a Board will make. We will take all the time we need to find the right person. In the meantime, we need a new leader that can hit the ground running. Miles has a deep understanding of our business and has demonstrated his ability to manage large, complex business units in most of our global markets. Miles is well-respected both within our Co-operative and by our key global customers and wider stakeholders,” said Fonterra Chairman John Morgan.

Hurrell explained that he was excited by the new challenge and as a proud New Zealander understood the responsibility that comes with the role. “I’ve been part of the Co-operative for 18 years and understand that its true potential really comes down to its people.

Theo Spierings steps down after eight years as CEO for Fonterra. Hurrell and Spierings will work together until September 1 to ensure a smooth transition. The announcement of the new interim CEO follows a statement released by Fonterra notifying shareholder's that it would be dropping dividend prices this year.