Livestock Improvement boss resigns

ALI TOCKER
Last updated 13:26 21/12/2012
Mark Dewdney
Fairfax NZ
Livestock Improvement (LIC) chief executive Mark Dewdney.

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Livestock Improvement (LIC) chief executive Mark Dewdney will step down on May 31, the dairy genetics company has announced.

Chairman Murray King said Dewdney had resigned to pursue a long-held goal of being a "hands-on" dairy farmer, while expanding his professional director roles.

Dewdney, who joined LIC in 2006, was recently appointed to the board of Morrinsville-based Tatua Co-operative Dairy Company. 

King said Dewdney had delivered outstanding financial returns to LIC shareholders in his time with the company, and developed a world-class team of staff.

"LIC reviewed its strategy in 2012 and is well-positioned for the phase of growth with clear direction and a significant programme of investment," King said.

Chief operating officer David Hemara will be acting chief executive from March 1, while an international search for a new chief executive is carried out. Dewdney will support Hemara and the LIC board until the end of May. 

Before joining LIC, Dewdney held senior management roles with Fonterra, both in New Zealand and internationally, and with NZ Dairy Group, LIC International, Crean Foodservice and Tatua. When he joined LIC, a Hamilton-headquartered farmer-owned co-operative, Dewdney indicated he intended to stay for five to seven years, King said.

This year, LIC was criticised by some of its farmer-shareholders for its handling of a genetic mutation in a number of dairy calves, inherited via insemination from their sire - the commercial dairy bull Matrix. LIC's board decided not to compensate farmers with the affected animals following advice from its shareholders council, instead offering free DNA-screening and reimbursement for the inseminations.

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