Leadership change at ANZCO Foods

Peter Conley, ANZCO Foods' chief executive from next April.

There will be a leadership change at ANZCO Foods next April, when Peter Conley becomes the third chief executive of ANZCO Foods in the company’s 33 year history on Mark Clarkson’s retirement from the role at the end of March, 2017.

Like his predecessors, Peter Conley is well grounded in the workings of the New Zealand meat industry and currently heads ANZCO’s harvest division. He has had in-depth overseas experience, including five years as president of the Chicago-based ANZCO Foods North America from 2005 – 2010.

A B.Com graduate of the Victoria University of Wellington and the Advanced Executive Program of the Kellogg School of Management at the Northwestern University in Chicago, Peter Conley held various sales and marketing roles, including with Crown Marketing Limited when it became part of the ANZCO Group in 1997.

“The ANZCO Board is pleased to have been able to continue our tradition of appointing within,” says company founder and chairman Sir Graeme Harrison.

Retiring CEO Mark Clarkson has given "wonderful service" to the company over the past 25 years, the past 12 as chief executive, says Graeme Harrison.
Retiring CEO Mark Clarkson has given “wonderful service” to the company over the past 25 years, the past 12 as chief executive, says Graeme Harrison.

“Peter Conley will follow on from Mark Clarkson who has given wonderful service to the company since he joined the ANZCO Group in 1991 as general manager of Five Star Beef Limited, then as chief executive of ANZCO’s fully owned subsidiary Canterbury Meat Packers Limited, before becoming managing director of the ANZCO Group in 2004,” he said.

“During his 13 years in the role, the New Zealand meat industry has experienced intense livestock procurement competition and thin margins. Yet ANZCO Foods achieved annual profits and maintained half year dividends to shareholders in all but one year,” he says.

Relying on retained earnings to fund growth and no new capital raising throughout the period, the ANZCO Group – the third largest red meat processing company in New Zealand – has expanded annual sales revenue to over $1.5 billion and employees to more than 3,000.

The investment focus of ANZCO Foods in recent years has been on value-adding activities in largely what is now the company’s Food and Solutions division, rather than expanding livestock processing capacity.

In 2015, Itoham Foods Inc. increased its shareholding to a majority position of 65 percent but the balance of the company’s shares continue to be held by Nippon Suisan Kaisha Limited and by Graeme Harrison, along with company senior managers.

“Despite ongoing excess livestock slaughter and processing capacity in the New Zealand meat industry, ANZCO Foods intends to remain a major player and grow value-add activities through the company’s network of overseas offices and other marketplace investments,” says Harrison.


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