The 10-year veteran chairman of Fonterra, New Zealand’s largest company, will step down at the December 17 annual meeting, in Hamilton.
He will then stay on the board a further six months as Trading Among Farmers (TAF) gets established.
van der Heyden’s leadership of the Fonterra board has been particularly outstanding this year said the judges for NZ’s most-prestigious business awards.
“Twice previously a finalist in that category, his strong leadership this year successfully delivered the TAF scheme that will be critical to Fonterra’s equity raising capability in the future.
“He also successfully completed one of the most important of all governance tasks – the transition to a new chief executive.”
That chief executive, Theo Spierings, spoke to the award dinner of 800 people in Auckland and said van der Heyden’s character was among the reasons he took on the top job in New Zealand.