Former Coca Cola and Nestle top brass join Glanbia board

Glanbia plc has announced a change to its board of directors, revealing that Mary Minnick and Richard Laube will join the board as independent non-executive directors on May 1, 2019.

The company revealed the move today (Wednesday, February 20) following the announcement of its financial results for 2018.

Mary Minnick was previously a partner of Lion Capital LLP, a consumer-focused private equity firm, from 2007 to 2018.

In that role, Minnick was involved in a number of successful investments in well-known retail and consumer branded companies, several of which she chaired, according to Glanbia.

Prior to that, she had a 23-year career with the Coca Cola company, where she held a variety of senior management positions, including chief operating officer of the Asian region, division president roles in Japan, the South Pacific and Asian regions, and ultimately as the company’s chief marketing officer and global president of strategy and innovation.

Described as an experienced board director, Minnick is currently a member of the boards of Target Corporation and Leo Holdings Corp, both of which are publicly-traded in the US.

Previously, she was a member of the boards of Heineken NV and Whitewave Foods, also US publicly traded.

Minnick holds an MBA from Duke University in the US and a BS in Business Administration from Bowling Green State University in the US.

The second new director, Richard Laube, was CEO of Nobel Biocare, a Swiss listed medical device business, from April 2011 to April 2016.

Prior to that Laube served as executive board member of Nestle SA, from April 2005 to September 2010, and served operationally as CEO of Nestle Nutrition.

Before Nestle, he served as executive committee member of Roche Holding AG and was operationally responsible for Roche Consumer Health.

Earlier in his career he held positions of increasing responsibility in brand and general management at Procter & Gamble, including international assignments in Switzerland, the USA, Japan, Germany and Brazil.

He served as chairman of Atkins Nutritionals Inc. from January 2011 to July 2017 and remained as independent director of the Simply Good Foods Company upon the company’s successful initial public offering on NASDAQ in July 2017.

He currently serves as a director of Gnubiotics Sciences and Piqur Therapeutics SA. Laube holds an MA and BA in Psychology from Boston University, US.

Board reshuffle

Glanbia also announced plans to reorganise the composition of its board of directors effective from May 1, 2019.

The reorganised board will be comprised of 16 members, as follows:
  • Two executive directors, group managing director and group finance director;
  • Six independent non-executive directors; and
  • Eight non-executive directors nominated by Glanbia Co-op.

This is in accordance with the amended and restated relationship agreement dated July 2, 2017, between the company and the society.

To facilitate this reorganisation and the broadening of the external perspective of the board, Hugh McGuire and Brian Phelan will not be putting themselves forward for re-election at the 2019 AGM.

Their key executive roles are unaltered and they will continue in their executive leadership positions as CEOs of the group’s two global growth platforms, Glanbia Performance Nutrition and Glanbia Nutritionals respectively.

Paul Haran, senior independent director, will retire immediately upon completion of the appointment of a third new independent non-executive director which is expected to be completed during 2019.

The company will announce the appointment of the independent board director to replace Haran and changes to the composition of the committees in due course.

Following Haran’s retirement, Dan O’Connor will take up the position of senior independent director. The role of Donard Gaynor, an independent non-executive director, has been expanded to include oversight of workforce engagement to further improve board involvement in this area.

In 2020 the number of directors nominated by the co-op will reduce from eight to seven and in 2022 the number of directors nominated by the co-op will reduce to six.

It is the intention that the co-op will continue to nominate a “society nominee” as chairman of the board until no later than June 30, 2020.

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