Fonterra's Philip Turner

New Zealand Dairy Implicated in Sanlu Scandal Appoints New Managing Director in China

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Fonterra's Philip Turner
Fonterra's Philip Turner
SHANGHAI (AdAgeChina) -- The New Zealand dairy caught in the tainted milk scandal in China last year, Fonterra, will not renew the contract of its current managing director, Bob Major, when it expires at the end of next month.

The company has promoted Philip Turner to managing director, China. Since late last year, he has served as chief operating officer in China and previously handled a wide range of roles at the company in innovation, operations, sales, strategy, marketing and management in the Middle East, Hong Kong, China, Japan. He has worked in New Zealand's dairy industry for 28 years.

His "global view and understanding of the world dairy commodity environment will stand him in good stead in leading our business in China. Fonterra has a 30-year history in China and this remains a very important market to us," said Mark Wilson, Fonterra's managing director, Asia and the Middle East in Hong Kong.

Fonterra says Mr. Major is retiring and that his departure is unrelated to last year's tainted milk scandal, one of the worst to ever hit a multinational marketer in China.

Six babies died and more than 300,000 children became ill after consuming infant formula made from milk powder produced by Sanlu Group that had been contaminated by melamine. The additive is used mainly for cleaning products and fertilizer and can cause kidney stones and other complications when ingested.

Fonterra owned 43% of Sanlu when the scandal erupted in September 2008. The tragedy bankrupted Sanlu and several of the Chinese company's executives were sentenced to prison terms. China's dairy industry went into a tailspin after it emerged that up to 22 other Chinese dairies also sold contaminated milk.

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