The big surprise of Comvita's annual shareholders meeting last week was the announcement that long-serving chief executive Brett Hewlett planned to step down next March.
Mr Hewlett said his resignation had been discussed for some time with the board as part of the company's future planning.
"But it's still a big decision," he said. "I've been here for 10 years and am part of the fabric of the place so it feels very difficult to tear myself away."
The Bay of Plenty-based honey and health products company reported a net profit of $10.2 million for the year to March 312, 2015, up from $8 million the previous 12 months, on revenues of $152.7 million, up from $115.3 million.
Comvita chairman Neil Craig said the company expected to generate sales in excess of $180 million in 2016 and had a longer term forecast out to 2020 of $400 million annual revenues.
"Comvita's vertically integrated high value-add business model is unique within the New Zealand primary sector," he said.
"It is especially difficult to make such fundamental changes to any business without destroying excellent business culture, but it is even more difficult when you are a listed company that must report each six months to shareholders who want financial performance and dividends."
Mr Craig said Mr Hewlett's dedicated commitment over the last 10 years' tenure, with support from board and staff, would be just the start of a period of stronger financial performance.
"He has put the company into a very strong position to deliver significantly better future returns."
Mr Hewlett said his decision to move on was a combination of the need to introduce new blood and a desire to pursue new career opportunities.
"A 10-year tenure for a CEO is quite a long time," he said.
"I think you reach a stage when you think perhaps a bit of new energy or perspective is a healthy thing. And also for me as well, as part of my career development, it's an opportunity to evolve and move on to something different."
Mr Hewlett said he would be focused on his current role up until his departure at the end of March 2016, but wanted to develop his career in governance and broader leadership roles. That was likely to see him taking on some directorships, including returning to the Comvita board within 12 months of his resignation next year.
"Prior to joining Comvita I developed a real passion for early stage and start-up businesses through working with the angel investment community," he said.
"I'm going to go back and have a play around in that area as well. I'm certainly planning to stay in the Bay of Plenty, and if I can develop some business interests here that would be a double plus. It's a good ecosystem here and well supported with strong networks."
Comvita results to March 31, 2015
* Revenues - $152.7 million, up 32.4%
* Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation - $23 million, up 35.1%
* Net profit - $10.2 million, up 27.5%
* Dividends - 13 cents, up 8.3%