Select Harvests (ASX: SHV) CEO and managing director Paul Thompson is due to step down from the almond producer after more than a decade in the role, readying the ground for his incoming replacement David Surveyor in early 2023.
Surveyor is currently the CEO at New Zealand-based meat company The Alliance Group, which exports to more than 65 countries and also sells animal-derived products such as wool, hides, pelts, casings and pharmaceuticals.
Having been with Select Harvests since July 2012, Thompson has helped turned the company into one of the world's leading almond businesses with at least 28,800 metric tons forecast for harvest in 2022 amidst a strengthening of of prices worldwide.
"Paul has led the company through a period of significant growth and change as it moved from a manager, processor and grower of almonds to become a leading global integrated almond agribusiness," he said, noting the business operations encompass growing, processing value-adding, marketing and energy generation from almond by-products.
"Our orchard footprint through acquisitions and greenfield development has grown from 2,900ha to over 9,000ha during this period. We have increased the capability and capacity of value adding threefold. Today we generate a third of our energy internally and recycle by composting one third of our annual biomass.
"This now positions Select Harvests as one of the most cost competitive and environmentally sustainable almond growers in the world. Our brands, Renshaw and Allinga Farms, are recognised for quality, value, and customer service."
He said Paul has ensured that Select Harvests has continued to grow, invest in sustainable solutions, and maintain a strong leadership role in our local regional communities.
"He is recognised by the almond industry for his leadership and innovative thinking," Dillon added.
"Finally, Paul has embedded a safety first culture and developed a strong leadership team who will continue to lead the growth of Select Harvests.”
The incoming CEO is currently responsible for approximately NZ$2.2 billion (AUD$2 billion) in annual turnover at Alliance Group, as well as 5,000 staff and eight manufacturing plants across New Zealand. This compares to Select Harvests' annual revenue of $229 million in its financial year ending 30 September 2021, and around 550 full time-equivalent employees.
David has a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Western Australia, a Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance and Investment from the Securities Institute of Australia and has completed an Advanced Management Programme at Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania. David’s commencement date with Select Harvests is expected to be early in the 2023 calendar year, dependent on executing a handover of his current role.
"I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Alliance, we have delivered record safety, revenue and profitability and meaningfully contributed to the New Zealand agricultural sector. I leave the company knowing it is in great shape and with great people," Surveyor said.
"I am incredibly excited to be joining the Select Harvests team, it is a great Australian agricultural company. Select Harvests is one of the world’s largest almond growers, processors and marketers with high quality produce.
"The company has strong values, growth aspirations and is an important part of the communities it operates within. I am excited at the opportunity to build on this foundation, further scale the business and drive increased value for shareholders. I am looking forward to working with the board and the team as we create the next chapter of success for the company."
The incoming exec is also a director of The Lamb Company (North America), director of Meateor Pet Foods, director of Beef and Lamb New Zealand and a member of the Meat Industry Association Council. He was previously executive general anager of Laminex, a subsidiary of Fletcher Building (ASX: FBU) and has also held roles with BHP (ASX: BHP) in Australia and as president of Bluescope Lysaght in Malaysia.
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