26 Jun 2018

Ex- Fonterra executive heads to Synlait

8:03 pm on 26 June 2018

Former Fonterra manager Leon Clement has been named the new chief executive of Synlait Milk.

New Synlait Milk chief executive Leon Clement.

New Synlait Milk chief executive Leon Clement. Photo: Supplied

Mr Clement, the managing director of Fonterra Brands New Zealand, will take on the new role from mid-August.

He will replace incumbent John Penno, who announced his departure in November last year.

The change in chief executive comes amid Fonterra's recent decline in share price.

It raised its base forecast milk price this month, which could result in higher input costs for dairy product makers such as Synlait.

Synlait provides a2 Milk with products for its largest markets based in Australia, New Zealand and China. The company's stock took a hit when a2 Milk, its branding partner, signed a supply deal with Fonterra in February.

However, Synlait's share prices recovered after it reported record first-half net profit, buoyed by booming Chinese demand for infant formula from a2 Milk, and posted upbeat forecast.

- Reuters