Fonterra said it would decide on a succession plan for chairmanship of the co-operative next year.

The current chairman, John Monaghan, is due to retire as a director at the 2020 annual meeting.

"Having seen through the introduction of our new strategy, operating model, and with our divestment and debt reduction efforts well progressed, I will be working with the board in 2020 to facilitate chair succession," Monaghan said in a statement.

"The timeline for that succession will be agreed by the board nearer to the time," he said.


Monaghan was elected to the board in 2008 and became chairman last year, replacing the late John Wilson.

In the same statement, Fonterra said independent director, Simon Israel, had decided to step down from the Fonterra board at its next annual meeting after six years.

Fonterra said Israel's decision was in support of planned succession and the need to phase the refresh of the co-operative's independent directors.

Israel was appointed in 2013 and is currently a member of Fonterra's appointments and remuneration committee.

Singapore-based Israel is also chairman of Singapore Telecommunications and chairman of Singapore Post.

Fonterra said succession planning had been discussed at board level.

"Those conversations include professional development, diversity, level of connection back to the farm, skills and experience on the Board, and the appropriate length of term for all independent and Farmer directors – including the chairman," it said.

Fonterra said those conversations were "well progressed in all aspects".


A replacement for Israel would be brought onto the board "at an appropriate time" and farmer-owners would have the opportunity to ratify that appointment at the 2020 annual meeting.

Fonterra is due to report its annual result on Thursday, having deferred the announcement, which was to have been made last week.

In August 2019, Fonterra announced a number of asset writedowns and one-off accounting adjustments.

The co-op expect to report a loss of $590-$675 million for the year, representing a loss of 37 to 42 cent loss per share.