In a significant development for the New Zealand meat industry, Silver Fern Farms Limited announced today that Chief Executive Officer Simon Limmer will be stepping down from his role after a successful five and a half years at the helm.
While Limmer will continue in his position during the transition period for the new CEO, his departure marks the end of an era for the company.
The announcement was made by Silver Fern Farms Ltd Co-Chair Rob Hewett, who expressed both gratitude for Limmer's contributions and regret over his resignation.
"On behalf of the Board of Silver Fern Farms Ltd, I have regretfully accepted Simon’s resignation, however, I am also very grateful for his immense contribution to the business and our industry over the last five and a half years," said Hewett.
During his tenure, Simon Limmer has been instrumental in steering Silver Fern Farms toward the successful execution of their "Plate to Pasture" market-led strategy. Under his leadership, the company has experienced remarkable growth and achieved remarkable financial performance, demonstrating the effectiveness of this strategy. Silver Fern Farms now stands as a beacon of success with a clear direction, thanks to Limmer's unwavering dedication.
However, beyond financial achievements, Limmer's legacy extends to the development of a robust corporate culture and leadership within the organization. His emphasis on these critical aspects of business operations has strengthened the company's foundation and set a strong precedent for future leadership.
Mr. Hewett commented on the transition, stating, "The Board now commences a process of recruiting Simon’s replacement; however, we’ll continue to utilize Simon’s expertise and experience in a different capacity going forward."
In response, Simon Limmer expressed mixed emotions about his departure.
"I’ve always felt that this length of time is about the right tenure for a Chief Executive, but I am really passionate about Silver Fern Farms and the industry," he said.
"It has been a very tough decision for me to take this step and consider new horizons."
He went on to highlight his optimism for the company's future, acknowledging that global market conditions have created immediate challenges. However, he expressed confidence in Silver Fern Farms' strategy and its ability to overcome these hurdles while continuing to create value for shareholders.
As the Board initiates the search for Simon Limmer's successor, he will remain with the company to facilitate a smooth transition. The recruitment process is expected to conclude by the start of 2024, ensuring continuity in the leadership of Silver Fern Farms.