Rangitikei lawyer and farmer John Henderson will take
over as chairman of fertiliser company Ravensdown in February.
Bill McLeod has announced he is standing down from the role
after taking over from former North Otago farmer, the late
Jim Pringle, in 2005.
The board discussed a succession plan for the chairman's
position early this year, but given the progress that had
been made, it was felt the time was now right for a new
person to continue Ravensdown's ''road to recovery'', Mr
McLeod said in a statement.
Ravensdown shareholders missed out on a rebate this year for
the first time in the company's 35-year history, after a
loss-making operation in Australia caused a profit plunge.
The company reported a profit before tax of $6 million, down
$46 million on its 2012 result.
Mr Henderson said the company had confronted its situation
and had taken significant steps this year to ''get back on
The sales of its loss-making operations in Western Australia
and South Australia were close to completion and the refocus
on its core business was continuing.
The change would provide continuity and moving ahead, as
Ravensdown faced the double challenge of helping farmers
increase productivity while addressing concerns around the
environmental impact of intensive farming, especially
dairying, he said.
Mr Henderson has a legal practice in Marton and Hunterville
which specialises in farm conveyancing, overseas investment,
estate planning, trust work and commercial law, and he also
runs a large sheep and beef-farming operation.
Mr McLeod will stand down as a director next year, once all
the details of his handover to Mr Henderson are complete.