After nine years of transforming Natural Pet Food Group into a global brand of note, Neil Hinton is handing over the reins to Fonterra’s Brett Henshaw.
Natural Pet Food Group (NPFG) CEO Neil Hinton has announced his resignation from his role as CEO and Board Member, effective from 31 December 2023. Following an extensive search, NPFG has recruited Fonterra Brands New Zealand Managing Director, Brett Henshaw, as its new CEO.
Chairman Andy Routley says Hinton has played a crucial role in the company’s transformation and success, developing NPFG as a successful large exporter and establishing a Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise (WFOE) in China. “He steered NPFG from a fledgling startup to the significant global enterprise it is today,” says Routley. “Under his expertise and leadership, our business has achieved strong market positions and established a solid brand. Neil has laid a great foundation for continued growth and success.”
Hinton has also overseen NPFG’s seamless transition to ownership under global private equity firm KKR. With that transition now complete, Hinton believes now is the time to step aside and allow new leadership to drive the next stage of growth.
Incoming CEO Brett Henshaw brings a wealth of global experience from his 35-year career in the FMCG industry. His expansive career with Colgate Palmolive spanned twenty-five years, covering various markets and international roles. Following his return to New Zealand in 2015, Henshaw took on more recent roles with The Griffins Food Company and then at Fonterra Co-operative Group, further enhancing his deep understanding of consumer brands, market dynamics, and team building.
During his tenures at these prominent companies, Henshaw developed a deep understanding of consumer brands and market dynamics, along with a passion for building high-performing teams. Routley says that while Hinton’s resignation has been met with “sadness and heartfelt gratitude,” the Board eagerly anticipates Henshaw’s arrival on 1 March, 2024.
“We believe his passion for consumer brands, proven track record, and alignment with our values and culture will propel NPFG towards even greater heights.”
“As we embrace this new chapter, we remain dedicated to our mission, to our stakeholders and to our team at NPFG. Brett is a natural fit to lead NPFG into its next stage of growth.” Henshaw says he is delighted to be stepping into the role:
“The opportunity to lead an innovative global team producing truly world-class natural products for our pets is extraordinary. NPFG is a notable contributor to the New Zealand economy, and I am looking forward to working closely with the dedicated people at NPFG and further developing the significant relationships they have built with their suppliers and other stakeholders.” In the interim period between Neil’s departure and Brett’s arrival, NPFG’s Mark Leitch, Mike Wilson, and Tim Ballagh will work closely with the Board and NPFG partners to collectively lead NPFG, ensuring a smooth transition of leadership.
Following his departure, Hinton intends to take some well-deserved time off to spend with family and friends. He says it has been a privilege to lead NPFG for the past nine years and he will remain an NPFG shareholder.
“I’m leaving really proud of what we have achieved over the last 9 years, and confident in the team’s ability to continue the company’s success,” says Hinton.
“I look forward to watching the company flourish in the years to come.”