Embattled infant formula maker Bellamy’s has continued to rebuild its board and leadership, electing Hong Kong-based investor John Ho as its new chairman and appointing former Foster’s boss John Murphy as a director.
Mr Ho, an Australian citizen with business interests in China and Australia, was appointed as a Bellamy’s director in mid-April.
He replaces Rod Peters who was elected to the Bellamy’s board and subsequently took the chair after shareholders instigated a near clean-out of the board at a extraordinary general meeting in February and installed replacements.
Bellamy’s chairman at the time, Rob Woolley resigned just before the meeting.
Mr Ho is the founder and chief investment officer of Hong Kong-based investor Janchor Partners, which has a stake of 7.01 per cent in Bellamy’s.
“Mr Ho’s deep understanding of the Australian and and Chinese consumer and health-related markets and expertise in corporate governance has proved to be a valuable addition to the board,” Bellamy’s said in a statement on Thursday.
The company said Mr Ho had waived his entitlement to the chairman’s remuneration.
Veteran food and beverage industry executive Mr Murphy has been appointed to the board as of Thursday and will also take up the role of deputy chairman and chair of the audit and risk committee.
Mr Murphy is a former managing director of brewer Fosters, a former managing director of Coca-Cola Amatil, and former chief executive of Visy Packaging and Recycling for Australasia.
Rodd Peters will stay on the Bellamy’s board as a director.
Bellamy’s also said on Thursday that director Patria Mann had resigned.
Ms Mann was the only Bellamy’s director to survive the shareholder revolt in February.
The board changes follow Bellamy’s confirmation in mid-April of Andrew Cohen as chief executive.
Mr Cohen had been acting in the CEO role since January 11, replacing long-term chief executive Laura McBain, who resigned after a torrid time for the company.
Tasmania-based Bellamy’s endured a massive share price plunge in December and January after it flagged a significant drop in sales in the key China market and twice downgraded its full-year earnings forecast.
Bellamy’s is also facing two class actions – one filed by lawyers Slater & Gordon and another by Maurice Blackburn Lawyers – from shareholders seeking to get back some of the losses from the massive share price fall.
Shares in Bellamy’s were 15 cents, or 2.8 per cent, lower at $5.21 on Thursday.