Boardroom musical chairs at GrainCorp as malt spin-off looms

GrainCorp boardroom musical chairs with new directors

Agribusiness
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Energy sector director, Jane McAloon, and Deakin University's deputy chancellor, Kathy Grigg, have joined GrainCorp's board

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GrainCorp's board ranks are in for a big shakeup as two new female directors join the company - and then one of them is likely to depart next year.

Three other non-executive directors and the managing director are set to leave, too.

Former BHP Billiton executive and energy sector director, Jane McAloon, and Deakin University's deputy chancellor, Kathy Grigg, have just commenced GrainCorp directorships as the big grain logistics and processor prepares to split its business in half next March.

Their appointments follow an earlier decision by chairman, Graham Bradley, to quit the board to lead the new MaltCo business when it is spun off as an independent listed entity.

On Wednesday GrainCorp also announced its international search for a new managing director had ended with the appointment of Fonterra executive, Robert Spurway.

He arrives from New Zealand to take up the job in March, replacing Mark Palmquist, who is set to shift to the new Maltco business, and will run it from the US.

Newly-recruited Ms McAloon is expected to follow Mr Bradley and Mr Palmquist to the MaltCo boardroom when court approval is received for the demerger, assuming it is supported by shareholders.

Ms McAloon and Ms Grigg's extensive experience across a range of industries, both as executives and non-executive directors, will be a strong fit for the board - Graham Bradley, GrainCorp

An exceptional general meeting to vote on the demerger will be held in mid March, which if approved, will see the new company operating by the end of that month and the various board and executive moves fall into place.

GrainCorp's board now has 10 independent non-executive directors, but those numbers will eventually shrink to six because current members, Peter Housden and Rebecca Dee-Bradbury, have flagged they will retire at February's annual general meeting.

Mr Housden has been a GrainCorp director since 2008 and Ms Dee-Bradbury since 2014.

Chairman, Mr Bradley said the new directors brought diverse perspectives and different skill-sets.

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"Both will be valuable to the company as we refresh our director cohort in anticipation of the planned malt business demerger in early 2020," he said.

"Ms McAloon and Ms Grigg's extensive experience across a range of industries, both as executives and non-executive directors, will be a strong fit for our board."

Energetic qualifications

Ms McAloon has spent 25-plus years in the natural resources, energy, infrastructure and utility industries in corporate and public sector leadership positions, including as company secretary with BHP Billiton and a group executive with AGL.

She is now a director of oil refiner, Viva Energy, and Energy Australia; the retail property group, Home Consortium; law firm, Allens; the Monash University Foundation, and she represents the Future Fund on the Port of Melbourne.

Previous directorships include Healthscope, Civil Aviation Safety Authority, Cogstate, Australian War Memorial and she is a past chairman of the Defence Reserves Support Council.

Ag industry experience

Ms Grigg's background is in finance and operational management, including as Australian Wool Research and Promotion Corporation's finance director.

She previously held directorships with the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation, Australian Pork Limited, and Southern Health.

Ms Grigg is currently a director of Suncorp Portfolio Services and Navy Health, and chairs Victoria's Department of Treasury and Finance audit and risk committee and is a member of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's audit committee.

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The story Boardroom musical chairs at GrainCorp as malt spin-off looms first appeared on Farm Online.

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