AUSVEG Chair Geoff Moar said the appointment of Whiteside to the role of CEO was a significant step for the vegetable and potato industries because of his proven experience in agribusiness and corporate leadership.
“[Whiteside] has demonstrated an exceptional level of corporate management and executive leadership within agriculture and has an impressive list of agribusiness accomplishments, including most recently serving as Chief Operating Officer of Incitec Pivot Fertilisers,” said Moar.
Whiteside has an extensive background in agriculture and agribusiness, having served as COO for Incitec Pivot Fertilisers and brings a high level of enthusiasm, industry knowledge and expertise to the role.
“James brings a vast level of local and global agribusiness expertise to the industry, having previously worked for 23 years for Incitec Pivot. He was also the [COO] of one of Incitec Pivot’s joint venture companies, Quantum Fertilisers, a Hong Kong based international fertiliser trading company. He is chairman of Verdant Minerals Limited and is a director for Agribusiness Australia, both positions which he will retain,” said Moar.
“The AUSVEG Board is confident that Whiteside is the most qualified person for the role and will lead the organisation, and the industry more broadly, through a period of growth and prosperity in the years ahead.”
Moar also paid tribute to interim CEO Simon Bolles, who he said had been an effective leader through a significant period of transition following former AUSVEG CEO Richard Mulcahy’s retirement in May this year.
“[Bolles] has acted with astute diligence and professionalism during his time in the role of Interim CEO, particularly in the midst of the tumultuous backpacker tax debate last month,” according to Moar. “[He] will return to his role on the AUSVEG Board as a skills-based director on 1 February 2017 following a short handover period with Whiteside, and I am grateful that he will continue to bring his extensive knowledge of business and corporate finance to the table.”
“The Australian vegetable and potato industries are two growing and dynamic sectors within agriculture, and the industry’s success will in part be driven by the depth of industry and business knowledge represented in AUSVEG’s Board and its senior management,” said Moar.
“I am confident the appointment of Whiteside as CEO will be an important and exciting step forward for the industry as we work towards securing a more successful and profitable future for the country’s hard-working vegetable and potato growers.”