Crane to clear path for new CBH chief

Crane to clear path for new CBH chief


Agribusiness
CBH chief executive officer Andy Crane has announced his resignation from the role.Dr Andy Crane has signalled his pending departure of chief executive of CBH.

CBH chief executive officer Andy Crane has announced his resignation from the role.Dr Andy Crane has signalled his pending departure of chief executive of CBH.

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CBH is on the hunt for a new chief executive with Andy Crane announcing he would be stepping down within the next 12 months.

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CBH is on the hunt for a new chief executive with Andy Crane announcing he would be stepping down within the next 12 months.

Dr Crane said after eight years at the helm and 17 years in various group roles, the time was right to move onto his next career.

"It will be eight years this month and probably close to nine years by the time we've finished this process and that's a good innings by any standard and more than double the national average for a CEO," he said.

Dr Crane joined the Grain Pool of WA in 2001 and became well known to WA grain growers and their customers across Asia and the Middle East, first marketing the barley crop and then all grains following the deregulation of single-desk marketing.

"While I have been fortunate to do many roles across the CBH Group and represent the business in forums across the world, there is nothing I like more than talking with our growers at regular meetings and working with their customers so they truly value the unique connection the co-operative can bring between the producer and the customer," he said.

"Over the years I have been grateful for the support, guidance, grower expertise and proactive challenge of the board as we have worked together to address a number of issues in the business and relentlessly pursue the protection, creation and return of value to growers."

Dr Crane said highlights of his tenure included CBH's investment in rail, the purchase and investment in Interflour and the reconfirmation of the co-operative model in 2009 and in 2016.

"The business is in really strong financial health, with a cumulative net profit of $750m since 2009 to 2016," Dr Crane said.

"We've also invested just shy of one billion dollars over those seven years back into the network and rail."

"The business has no long term debt so it is in a very strong state for our growers to continue to define the future for what is good for them."

Dr Crane is looking forward to taking on new opportunities as a professional board director.

"I have a passion for agriculture broadly and the success of Australian agriculture so certainly ag, food production and trade with Asia are areas of passion and experience, but I am looking to have a diverse board career potentially in education and trade," he said.

Dr Crane is currently a board member and chairman of the Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals, director of Interflour Holdings Ltd, a member of the Curtin University Council, Rabobank Australia and New Zealand Wholesale Food and Agriculture Advisory Board.

CBH chairman Wally Newman said the board wished to acknowledge Dr Crane's tireless work with successive boards, executive teams and staff to strengthen the co-operative.

"Andy leaves a legacy that he and growers can be proud of," Mr Newman said.

"Key successes include working through the deregulation of the grain export industry, investment in rail and downstream processing, the introduction of Quality Optimisation, Harvest Mass Management, Grain Express, the introduction of rebates, the launch of a transformational network strategy and the very confident reconfirmation of the co-operative business model as an efficient and effective custodian of growers' export infrastructure.

"The numbers speak for themselves, CBH is financially very strong, grower loyalty and satisfaction levels are at record highs and safety incidents at record lows.

"CBH now turns over $4 billion annually, making it the largest co-operative and second largest private business in Australia - that is something the board, Andy and growers can be justifiably proud of," Mr Newman said.

He said the co-operative was embarking on a detailed internal and external global search for a replacement.

Dr Crane will remain in the role for up to 12 months.

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