Agribusiness & Food

Incoming Murray Goulburn CEO vows to deliver change

Carlton Draught and Victoria Bitter brewer Ari Mervis says he’s keen to work with Murray Goulburn’s suppliers to produce “positive change” at the dairy business, which he will take over in February.

Mervis was announced as the next chief executive officer and managing director of Murray Goulburn on December 12, with a start date of February 13, 2017.

He is currently the Asia Pacific head of brewer SABMiller, which through its Fosters subsidiary owns brands including Victoria Bitter, Carlton Draught, Pure Blonde and Cascade.

In a letter to farmers, Mervis said he was “under no illusions about the task ahead,” but said the dairy co-operative “is an organisation with tremendous potential”.

“When I join in February, one of my priorities is to engage with suppliers, employees and other stakeholders to obtain their perspectives on the events of the recent past,” Mervis said.

“I intend visiting the regions to meet as many of you as soon as is practical, in order to gain an in-depth understanding of the key issues driving the business and the industry.”

Murray Goulburn chairman Philip Tracy said Mervis was a good candidate for the role thanks to his extensive operations and consumer goods experience.

“After a comprehensive international search, the Board unanimously agreed that Ari was the ideal choice to lead MG at this critical juncture in its history,” Tracy said.

“We are delighted to have secured a candidate with a proven track record of delivering results and operational success across multiple geographies.”

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