Zespri CEO Dan Mathieson resigns to lead Driscoll’s as President of the Americas

Zespri CEO Dan Mathieson resigns to lead Driscoll’s as President of the Americas

In a significant industry move, Zespri CEO Dan Mathieson is set to step down from his role after 21 years with Zespri, with the last seven as CEO, to take up a new position as President of the Americas for global berry company Driscoll’s.

Mathieson's departure comes at a pivotal time for Zespri, as he will remain to oversee the upcoming 2024 harvest and the start of the sales season. This decision aligns with the industry's commitment to delivering one of its largest-ever crops, meeting the surging global demand for Zespri Kiwifruit.

During his tenure, Mathieson played a crucial role in transforming Zespri into a leading sales and marketing company. Zespri Chairman Bruce Cameron expressed confidence in Mathieson's impact, stating, "Under Dan’s exceptional leadership, Zespri grew sales from almost $2.3 billion in 2016/17 to a peak just over $4 billion in 2021/22 prior to the Covid-19 pandemic."

Cameron continued, highlighting Mathieson's ability to bring talent together, execute strategy, and deliver outstanding outcomes for the industry. The departing CEO leaves Zespri in a robust position, with stable management and a clear strategy, poised to build on past successes.

Reflecting on his departure, Mathieson stated, "I’m so passionate about this industry. It’s filled with incredible, deeply committed people providing a world-class product and its future is so bright." He emphasised the industry's collective efforts in addressing challenges imposed by Covid restrictions and delivering premium-quality products.

Despite the difficulty in leaving, Mathieson expressed confidence in the industry's trajectory and excitement for the personal challenge ahead. 

"While I remain focused on the upcoming season, I’m really proud of what the industry is achieving. The industry has a track record of making bold, forward-thinking decisions which have added strong and sustainable value for growers and communities where we operate."

Acknowledging the new challenges, Mathieson commended the exceptional team at Zespri, stating, "I’m most proud of the people at Zespri and their commitment to delivering for our growers and partners. We’ve built a terrific culture which can bring the best out of the best people to drive Zespri forward."

Looking ahead, Cameron assured stakeholders of a comprehensive search for Mathieson's replacement, ensuring a seamless transition. 

"I’m excited about the future and know we have the right people to continue to create value for our growers and partners, and we know Dan will have great success in his new role."

As the industry anticipates a groundbreaking harvest and a new chapter for Zespri, the focus remains on sustaining growth, delivering quality products, and navigating the evolving landscape of the healthy food sector.