Blackmores appoints Alastair Symington as new CEO

Australian supplements company Blackmores has appointed Alastair Symington to lead the company as chief executive and managing director, following a four month search for the right candidate.

A former Nestle, Gillette and Procter & Gamble executive, Symington has over 23 years of consumer goods experience in beauty, health and grooming. He is originally from Melbourne but currently based in Dubai, leading the ALMEA region for Coty, as senior vice president of consumer beauty.

Blackmores has been looking for a suitable replacement for Richard Henfrey following his resignation in late February, with executive director Marcus Blackmore leading the company in the interim.

Symington will take up the role on October 1 and will receive a sign-on payment of $300,000. He will be paid a basic salary of $1.3 million plus up to $1.56 million in short-term bonuses and additional long-term bonuses.

Added to that, Symington will also receive up to $1 million in Blackmores shares, which will vest after three years of employment.

In February, the supplements company warned that sales in China are not expected to grow within the next six months and in April reported a 14.3 per cent fall in profit for the first nine months of the financial year.

In a statement to the ASX on Tuesday, Blackmores called Symington an “impactful, dynamic and engaging leader” with a proven track record of achieving significant sales growth throughout the Asia region, and China in particular.

“Alastair brings the right mix of knowledge, experience and skill that is required to drive the Blackmores Group’s growth strategy and seize on the opportunities available to our business across the APAC region,” Blackmores chairman Brent Wallace said.

“Product innovation and education is a key priority for Blackmores in China. Alastair’s deep understanding of China and proven track-record in product innovation will enable us to continue growing in this important market.”

Symington also studied Mandarin during his time living and working in Shanghai.

“I am incredibly excited to be joining Blackmores,” Symington said. “The company has an unrivalled history in natural health and I firmly believe the opportunities are significant.”

He said he is committed to driving substantial top-line growth and ensuring better efficiency to deliver the best results for shareholders.

Blackmores shares were worth $90.01 at 10.10am on Tuesday.

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