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Fonterra Appoints New Chief Financial Officer

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Fonterra Appoints New Chief Financial Officer

21 January 2009 - Fonterra Co-operative Group announced today the appointment, effective February 16, of Jonathan Mason as its new Chief Financial Officer. Mr Mason succeeds Guy Cowan, who announced his retirement in early 2008 and will be leaving the Group at the end of February 2009.

Mr Mason is a highly experienced finance executive with a strong track record internationally and in New Zealand - including as Chief Financial Officer for forest products group Carter Holt Harvey from 2000 to 2005.

He joins Fonterra from US-based company Cabot Corporation, where he has been Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer since 2006. Listed on the New York Stock Exchange, Cabot is a multinational specialty chemicals company, with manufacturing facilities in 18 countries and US$3 billion in annual sales.

Between 1990 and 2006, Mr Mason worked in various roles at US-based International Paper, the world's largest forest products company, rising eventually to Vice President and Treasurer. His stint as CFO at Carter Holt Harvey was during the period when International Paper owned 50.1 per cent of the New Zealand-based company. Earlier in his career, he worked in treasury roles at Exxon Corporation.

An American by birth, Mr Mason is married with two children, one of whom was born in New Zealand. Jonathan and his family hold dual New Zealand and American citizenship.

Mr Mason holds a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Arts, International Relations, both from Yale University, Connecticut, USA; and a Bachelor of Arts, Economics and International Relations from Beloit College, Wisconsin, USA.

Fonterra's Chief Executive Officer Andrew Ferrier said Mr Mason's appointment followed an extensive international search.

"We are delighted to have secured someone of Jonathan's calibre and experience. During his career, Jonathan has worked across all the functional areas required to be a successful CFO of a large and complex company such as Fonterra. He has particular strengths in areas such as cash flow management, shareholder value creation and capital structuring," Mr Ferrier said.

"Jonathan's international experience, combined with his knowledge of and passion for New Zealand, makes him an excellent choice for this important and challenging role."

Mr Ferrier also paid tribute to retiring CFO Guy Cowan. "Over the past four years, Guy has made a strong contribution in strengthening our operational disciplines, risk management and controls and financial and management reporting. He has also championed significant reductions in costs during his time here. Guy has also been responsible for Soprole in Chile and has played an important role in its performance improvement. We wish Guy and his family all the very best as they move to a new life in Australia."

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