Simon Limmer, the chief executive of Silver Fern Farms, has resigned after five and a half years in the job.
Limmer will stay in the role during the transition to a new chief executive. Co-operative board chair Rob Hewett said it could take until early next year to find his replacement.
Limmer said he will miss the role, but after more than five years it is the right time to pursue his own business interests and pass the role onto someone with new energy.
“I’ve always felt that this length of time is about the right tenure for a chief executive, but I am really passionate about Silver Fern Farms and the industry,” he said.
“It has been a very tough decision for me to take this step and consider new horizons, however I feel that now’s the time for an injection of new energy and perspective into the business.” Limmer said he is proud of what the company has achieved and said despite the current tough conditions, its strategy has been validated and the company has capability and momentum to weather the current challenges.
Limmer previously worked in the kiwifruit industry before joining Silver Fern Farms as the company entered its partnership with Shanghai Maling.
Hewett said he had accepted the resignation with regret.
“Since joining Silver Fern Farms, Simon has doubled down on the company’s Plate to Pasture market-led strategy and he will leave a business which is in great health and with a clear direction,” he said.
“While the company’s financial performance, investment, and returns have all increased under Simon’s tenure, one of the biggest contributions he has made has been to the development of culture and leadership.”
The board has started an international search for a replacement. Limmer will continue to have a role until the new chief executive is appointed.