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Zespri names Jason Te Brake as its new CEO

After an extensive international search, Zespri has appointed Jason Te Brake as CEO of Zespri. Te Brake is currently Zespri’s chief operating officer and will succeed outgoing CEO Daniel Mathieson who is leaving Zespri to join Driscoll’s, effective July 1.

“Jason is an outstanding executive with the strong commercial and stakeholder management experience we were looking for," said Zespri Chairman Nathan Flowerday. "He has a clear strategic vision to help Zespri and the industry achieve its immense potential and the operational expertise to ensure we do so."

“I am hugely passionate and energised about the opportunities for the industry and it’s a real honor and privilege to be able to lead Zespri," said Te Brake.

He first joined Zespri in 2020 and has held a number of roles, including acting chief global supply officer, head of New Zealand supply chain and commercial manager.

"He has also delivered exceptional results based off detailed planning and execution as the industry responded to the recent quality challenges and then reset to deliver a record crop this year," said Flowerday.

“There is significant and growing demand for Zespri Kiwifruit which will add real value to our industry and communities," said Flowerday. "Zespri has a strong strategy in place as we pursue that, with Jason able to provide the vision and continuity as well as the knowledge of our industry to deliver on that.”

Te Brake said, “The kiwifruit industry has an outstanding track record of success, off the back of quality people, a world-class product and strategy and a commitment to innovating and tackling challenges together. It is one of New Zealand’s great success stories and I am incredibly fortunate to be following in the footsteps of, and working alongside, some of the industry’s outstanding leaders.

“My focus will be on leading the Zespri team to capture the significant demand opportunities in market, on strengthening our supply chain and operational performance to maximize value in market and on ensuring we return as much of that value back to growers as possible," said Te Brake.

“I’d like to thank Nathan and the board for the faith they have shown in me and also thank Dan Mathieson for his guidance and mentorship," said Te Brake. "Dan has been an outstanding leader for Zespri, helping turn us into a world class sales and marketing organization which is able to deliver significant value for our growers and our communities.”

Flowerday added that “Dan has been a world class leader at Zespri and has led the industry through both strong growth and considerable challenges. He’s someone who has a genuine care for people and our industry and we wish him every success in his new role at Driscoll’s.”

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