Stay up-to-date with The Insider, a weekly column featuring what's happening behind the scenes in business.
Spierings' new business
Theo Spierings has landed himself a new gig in The Netherlands.
The former Fonterra chief executive left the dairy co-operative in late 2018 after a disastrous $196 million loss, but not before pocketing $43m in salary and incentive payments.
He returned to his house in Ommen, a small city in the eastern Netherlands where he settled back with his family.
Now he's gone back into business, setting up a management consulting business with Paul Roedig, another Dutchman who was director of brand and strategy at Fonterra from 2012 to 2015. Roedig had previously worked for FrieslandCampina, and at Fonterra he was responsible for setting new strategic direction for the co-op's $3.5 billion branded consumer business.
The new consultancy business is called the Purpose Factory and was set up in March this year to provide advisory services in areas such as corporate transformation, business strategy, financing, administration, provision of financial transactions and financing.
Dutch company Spierings BV is listed as the major shareholder. Lukas Wadsack, a lawyer from Switzerland, is also a director of the Purpose Factory.
Spierings has been widely criticised for leading Fonterra down a strategy that many blamed for the poor financial performance of 2018-2019.
In October 2018 he told a local Dutch newspaper he wasn't looking for another job in the European dairy sector.
"No, that is not my ambition yet," he was quoted as saying. "When I said goodbye to Fonterra, I'm going to focus on a better world, not a great job."
Warehouse buys more time
The Warehouse has shifted its result back a few weeks from the traditional third week of September and is now rubbing up against the general election in mid-October.
A spokeswoman says it's simply down to the retailer taking up the extension the NZX offered companies because of disruption from Covid-19 and the result date would be either October 14 or 15.
The Insider understands the big retailer is hoping to finalise a consultation phase with some 300 employees as part of the latest restructuring round by October 10.
At the same time the later result is seen as quite convenient for The Warehouse as some companies are currently copping flak for taking advantage of generous Government wage subsidies while still managing to post healthy profits and in some cases laying off staff.
Rod Duke's Briscoe Group, for example, has just come under fire from entrepreneur and Zuru co-founder Nick Mowbray for declaring a profit after tax of $27.9m after a period when the company has experienced "unparalleled demand". That spike in demand was clearly after the first lockdown when Briscoe stores were closed for 50 days. Briscoe Group received about $11.4m in wage subsidies from the Government.
Mowbray was part of a group of high-profile New Zealanders, including Warehouse founder Sir Stephen Tindall, who rallied to secure seven planeloads of PPE gear early on in New Zealand's fight against the coronavirus.
Mowbray has made no mention of The Warehouse in his attacks on corporate NZ, despite the company receiving $52 million in wage subsidies.
Former long-time Air New Zealand public relations chief Marie Hosking has popped up in the banking sector, taking on the role of corporate affairs general manager at ASB.
Hosking was at the national carrier for more than nine years during which time Air New Zealand achieved the top corporate reputation award for five years from 2014 to 2019 in New Zealand and three years in Australia.
Hosking is seen as a no-nonsense operator who generally doesn't give away more information than absolutely necessary.
She left Air NZ at the tail end of last year after a shakeup of the public relations team which also saw two of her senior colleagues depart.
Hosking then had a short seven-month stint at Australian-owned insurer Suncorp as head of corporate affairs before moving to the ASB role which was left vacant after Christian May moved to Fletcher Building in January after having worked at ASB for nine years.
Hosking is the second corporate affairs boss Suncorp has lost to the banking sector in recent times. Last year Tony Reid left the insurer for Kiwibank.
Banking has been under the spotlight in recent years with the culture and conduct review in New Zealand, the Royal Commission in Australia and last year's departure of ANZ bank boss David Hisco, who left under an expenses cloud.
But it is probably one of the safer sectors to be in during a global pandemic, for now at least.