South Port New Zealand chief executive Mark O'Connor is to step down after 17 years running the nation's southernmost deep water port, having led the company to a record profit on record cargo volumes in 2016.
O'Connor, who will step down in late October, says he advised the board four years ago that he would depart the port sector when he turned 55. He plans to "take some time out and undertake some overseas travel" before seeking board positions "where I can offer value." He has worked at the port for almost 25 years in total.
South Port first listed in July 1994 and since O'Connor became CEO in 2000 the shares have climbed more than 500 per cent to traded recently at $5.35. They reached a record $6.186 in October last year. Profit was a record $8.7 million in the June 2016 year and in the first half of the current year, earnings climbed 54 per cent to about $5.1m.
The company said it will immediately begin seeking a replacement.