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Zespri sets out plan to replace chief executive Lain Jager

Wednesday 21st September 2016

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Zespri International, the kiwifruit marketer, is to start the search for a new chief executive next year, with a plan to have the successful candidate in place for the start of 2018. 

Current boss Lain Jager has been in the role since December 2008, and will remain in the post until a new chief executive starts. 

Chairman Peter McBride said in a statement, "the Zespri board has set out a process for succession at an optimal time. The timeframe helps to ensure continuity through this transition, which is important given Zespri’s critical role in the value chain for kiwifruit growers and customers globally.”

Both internal and external candidates are to be considered. 

McBride paid tribute to Jager's work within the now $1.9 billion industry, including steering its recovery from the devastating Psa crisis.

“Lain’s record speaks for itself. He has helped the business manage the opportunities and challenges which come with growth. Global sales have nearly doubled during his tenure, and value created for growers and shareholders has increased strongly."

Jager said that his work with employees and partners had been a privilege and he supported the succession process, "I also am excited about the 2017 season and look forward to my final year working with growers and Zespri partners globally.”

Jager rose through the ranks at Zespri which he joined in 1999 as human resources manager and was promoted to general manager supply chain in 2004 before becoming acting chief executive and then chief executive in 2008.

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