John Todd resigns as chairman of Todd Corporation

John Todd
John Todd

Business doyen John Todd has resigned as chairman of Todd Corporation, ending a 66-year career with his family's business.

Mr Todd will step down next week, after flagging his retirement earlier this year. He will be replaced by Geoff Ricketts, the board's deputy chairman and the chairman of Lion Nathan.

Speaking to Wellington Rotary this week, Mr Todd said he had no regrets: "Looking back, I think I can say I have had a good run. I am proud of what the Todd family enterprise has achieved, and it has been an honour to have played a part in building the business into one of New Zealand's most successful companies."

He said the Todd family was characterised by a quote from Scottish writer John Buchan, who said success was due to "a good stomach, a capacity for hard work, and a fair measure of good luck".

"When the stakes were highest, we definitely had our share of good luck."

The Todds are considered New Zealand's wealthiest family, with about 200 members and an estimated wealth of $2.7 billion. Half the corporation's board are family members.

Mr Ricketts was described as an experienced commercial lawyer and company director.

Todd Corporation stretches back to Mr Todd's grandfather, Charles, who started various ventures, including a car dealership in north Otago.

Todd Motors was sold to Mitsubishi in 1987 but the company had had a long association with petrol and become involved in deep-sea drilling.

Today more than half the group's assets are tied up in energy.