A2 Milk shares tumble after CEO's surprise resignation

Demands of travel have been cited as the reason for the sudden departure of the Managing Director and CEO of the A2 Milk Company.

The company advised on Monday that Jayne Hrdlicka was to step down from her role, and one billion dollars was wiped off the company's value when markets opened.

Hrdlicka said the A2 Milk Company was an extraordinary business and she joined the company excited about the opportunity to help define its full potential and deliver against it. 

However, she said travel demands were too much

"The reality is that the next 3-5 years will continue to require the CEO being present in our core markets of China and the US and that combined with running a New Zealand company based in Australia required more travel than I had anticipated when I joined the company," she said.

Jayne Hrdlicka pictured with Fonterra Brands New Zealand acting sales director Grant Watson in 2018.
Jayne Hrdlicka pictured with Fonterra Brands New Zealand acting sales director Grant Watson in 2018. Photo credit: Newshub

She said the board and her agreed that the next phase of the company would be too difficult to manage alongside her other commitments.

"My passion and commitment to this great company is unchanged and I will, of course, work closely with the board and new CEO as required to ensure a smooth transition."

The board has started a global search for a new CEO and in the meantime, has appointed former CEO Geoffrey Babidge as Interim CEO effective immediately. 

Hrdlicka has been in the role for 18-months.

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