The Board of Directors of The a2 Milk Company Limited is pleased to announce the appointment of David Bortolussi to the role of Managing Director and CEO based in Sydney. David is expected to commence in the role early in the 2021 calendar year. David will succeed Geoffrey Babidge who has been in the CEO role on an interim basis since December 2019.
David has many strengths that make him well suited to leading the company at this stage of its growth, including extensive international leadership experience in the consumer and retail sector, particularly in corporate strategy and business transformation with a focus on brand development and innovation, multi-channel management and supply chain operations.
David joins the company from his most recent role as Group President – International Innerwear, HanesBrands. He joined Pacific Brands in 2009 initially as Chief Financial & Operating Officer taking over as CEO in 2014, during which he restructured and transformed the business into a brand focused, leading omni-channel retailer with successful wholesale partnerships, delivering double digit compound annual growth in sales and earnings over the past five years. In 2016, HanesBrands acquired Pacific Brands and expanded David’s role to cover Australasia and subsequently its international innerwear operations outside of the Americas. Over this period, David has been responsible for and had extensive exposure to Pacific Brands and HanesBrands’ Asian sourcing markets, particularly China including various brand distribution partnerships in the region.
Prior to this David spent five years at Foster’s Group, where he held the role of Chief Strategy Officer responsible for corporate strategy, M&A, business development and performance improvement. In this role, David was instrumental in leading the process that ultimately led to the operational separation and demerger of the domestic beer and global wine businesses, generating significant shareholder value. Prior to Foster’s Group, David held senior consulting roles at McKinsey & Company and PwC.
Chairman of The a2 Milk Company, David Hearn, said: “Following an extensive global search, the Board is delighted to have secured David for this role. David has demonstrated significant skill in guiding businesses through periods of significant growth whilst also effectively managing the changes that expansion frequently requires.”
“The a2 Milk Company is going through a period of continued strong growth in dynamic markets and David’s skillset and comprehensive strategic and operational experience will serve the company well. I am looking forward to working with David as we navigate these challenges together with the board and management team.”
“As Managing Director and CEO, David will assume leadership of the Company’s Executive Leadership Team, which has a strong and diverse skill set and deep experience of the business across all key markets in which the company operates,” said Mr Hearn.
David Bortolussi said: “I have always admired The a2 Milk Company’s achievements and I am looking forward to joining the board and management team to continue the development of such an extraordinary business. The team at a2 has created a very distinctive consumer proposition, amazing brand and strong culture with so much potential. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to lead such a talented and experienced team, and to be part of the next phase of growth”.
The Board also wishes to express its sincere thanks to Geoff for stepping back into the business in December last year and so capably leading the company over the past eight months.
As noted above, it is expected that David Bortolussi will commence his role early in the 2021 calendar year, given that he has a 6 month notice period with his current employer, although the exact timing will be agreed nearer the date. Geoff will continue to lead the company until then, and he will work closely with David Bortolussi and the Board on an onboarding plan to ensure that the current momentum of the business continues.
The material terms of David’s employment agreement are summarised in the Appendix and PDF of this document attached.
The a2 Milk Company Limited
For further information, please contact:
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Please watch this video message from David Bortolussi.