Westland Milk Products (WMP) has named its new chief executive.

Toni Brendish, an Australian, who was most recently the vice-president of a large consumer goods distribution company based in Thailand, has accepted the dairy co-operative's top job.

On February 23, WMP announced its current chief executive, Rod Quin, had tendered his resignation, citing the need to seek a new challenge.

Mr Quin began as chief executive of WMP in April 2009.


Last month, the company appointed Brent Taylor, an independent WMP director, as interim manager.

Mr Taylor will fill the role after Mr Quin steps down on July 31 until Mrs Brendish starts on September 5.

WMP chairman Matt O'Regan said today that Mrs Brendish, who currently resides in Bangkok, would live in Christchurch along with her husband Mark Baker, a New Zealander and award-winning photographer.

"Toni is committed to spending a good proportion of her time on the West Coast to get to know our region, shareholders, staff and facilities well. But we also expect that she will be spending a fair amount of her time overseas directly leading Westland's international marketing outreach." Mrs Brendish had extensive leadership experience in the international food and dairy industries, having spent a large part of her career within the Danone Group in various directorial roles, Mr O'Regan said.

Her familiarity with the manufacture, supply chain and sales and marketing of value-added dairy products would be of "immense value" to the company as it progressed its growth strategy, he said.

Mrs Brendish has a Bachelor of Commerce from Melbourne University and a Post Graduate Diploma from the University of Sydney. She is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is a past President of the Marketing Women's Network.

She and husband Mark have two children, Joshua and Catherine.

- Westport News