Blackmores’ boss steps down

Christine HolgateBlackmores chief has commented that he “regrets” Christine Holgate’s departure from the vitamin maker company to move to the Australia Post as its new CEO and managing director.

Former head Marcus Blackmore will temporarily fill the gap after his sabbatical as chairman of the vitamin company.

The vitamin producer said Holgate, who has led the company to a huge surge in growth during her nine years, will leave Blackmores on September 29.

“Christine’s legacy is a program of transformation which has enabled our group to adapt to some significant market changes in recent years,” Blackmore said. “She has strengthened our strategy and management team, so we are exceptionally well-positioned for the future.”

“It is with regret that we announce Christine’s departure from Blackmores. [But] we have a clear strategy in place and a strong executive team, including potential CEO candidates.”

Holgate said she felt privileged to be appointed to such an iconic Australian corporation and she looked forward to building on the achievements of her predecessors. Holgate will officially start in the position in October 2017. She joins Australia Post after a successful nine-year tenure as CEO of Blackmores and previous executive roles with Telstra, JP Morgan and Cable & Wireless.

“Australia Post has proven itself to be one of the most resilient and successful postal businesses anywhere in the world. I feel fortunate to be joining at a time when we can really strengthen Post’s leading position in the eCommerce market – both here, in Australia, and in Asia,” Holgate said.

“I’m a passionate advocate for Australian business seizing the opportunity that’s on our doorstep in Asia and that creates opportunities for everyone – our workforce, our shareholder, the community, as well as businesses across Australia.”

Holgate has led Blackmores through a period of huge growth and expansion into China that helped to briefly lift its shares on the ASX above $220. Vitamin maker shares have fallen back over the past 18 months as its supercharged growth finally has slowed, but the company still reported a $100 million full-year profit in 2015/16.

Blackmores shares were at $93.95 before Tuesday’s market open.

Holgate will take the place of Ahmed Fahour, who will step down next month, after serving the company for seven and a half years in the role. She will receive a remuneration at $1.375 million fixed annual total remuneration and the potential to earn incentive payments of up to $1.375 million.

“Over the past seven years we have transformed Australia Post into Australia’s leading Parcels and e-commerce company and introduced critical reforms to the letters service. With Post now entering a new stage in our transformation, it’s the perfect time for [Holgate] to take the helm,” said chairman John Stanhope.

“Christine has a demonstrated track-record of delivering results in large, complex organisations, both here in Australia and internationally.

“The Board was impressed by her experience of working very successfully in a range of different industries that are highly regulated. And, on top of that, she has a proven ability to implement strategy – and successfully grow a business in Asia.”

The Australia Post Board today also announced that its group chief customer officer, Christine Corbett, will lead the business through the CEO transition period – between Fahour’s departure on 28 July and Holgate’s arrival in October.

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