Murray Goulburn Co-operative has announced the appointment of Mr John Spark as Chairman with effect from 1 April 2017 and the retirement of Mr Philip Tracy from the Chairmanship and Board on 31 March.
Mr Spark will join the Boards of MG and MG Responsible Entity Limited as a Special Director on 24 March 2017.
Mr Spark has extensive Board experience across a range of large and complex businesses, including the agricultural industry.
Mr Spark was previously a Director of Ridley Corporation from 2008 until 2015 and served as Chairman from 2010. Since 2007 he has been a Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee at Newcrest Mining Limited. He also previously served on the Boards of ANL, Baxter Group Ltd and MacArthur Coal Ltd.
From 1989 to 2004, John was a partner, then Managing Partner, at Ferrier Hodgson. During this time he oversaw the successful restructuring and return to profitability of many large Australian companies. Mr Spark was also formerly a partner at Arthur Andersen and, prior to that at Orr, Martin & Waters and spent the early part of his career at Clyde Industries Ltd.
John has a passion for agriculture extending beyond his professional life. Until recently he had an Angus cattle farm at Kerrisdale near Yea in Victoria and was also an investor in Victoria’s fourth largest asparagus producer as well as in a large Kiwi fruit business.
Commenting on his appointment, Mr Spark said it was an enormous privilege to be appointed Chairman by the Board of MG. “It is a true honour to have an opportunity to apply my passion and expertise to the Chairmanship of Murray Goulburn, a proudly farmer-controlled co-operative that has grown to become Australia’s largest dairy producer and one of the country’s largest agricultural exporters,” Mr Spark said.
“As Chairman, I look forward to playing a central role at Murray Goulburn and working closely with my fellow Directors and Chief Executive Officer, Ari Mervis, to build a stronger company for the future,” he continued.
Mr Tracy has been a member of MG’s Board since 2009 and has served as Chairman since 2011. Commenting on his retirement, Mr Tracy said the time is right to complete MG’s leadership transition.
“It has been an honour to be Chairman of MG and contribute to the co-operative which has invested in world- class infrastructure and developed branded retail opportunities,” Mr Tracy said.