Nufarm appoints Greg Hunt new CEO

Agricultural chemical maker Nufarm today appointed Chief Operating Officer and acting CEO Greg Hunt as the company's new Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer.

Nufarm's Chairman, Donald McGauchie said in a statement Hunt was appointed following a global search for a successor to long-time Managing Director and CEO, Doug Rathbone, who stepped down from the role in early February.

According to the AFR, Rathbone’s departure followed a clash between him and McGauchie. He had led the company for fifteen years, but after the disagreement he left the company with a $1,643,193 termination payment, plus statutory entitlements.

Hunt, 55, joined Nufarm in 2012. Before being appointed to the acting CEO position, he was responsible for the company's global commercial operations. He is also a non-executive director of Costa Group.

"After taking on the role in an interim capacity, Greg has demonstrated strong leadership and progressed the company's ambitious program of change and performance mprovement," McGauchie said.

Nufarm is currently making efforts to reduce its fixed cost base. In February the company announced it would restructure its European manufacturing operations. The changes are to include the closure of a manufacturing facility in Botlek in the Netherlands and efficiency programs elsewhere in Europe.

It is also restructuring its Australian and New Zealand manufacturing. It plans to reduce its six production sites to three.

Hunt was positive about his CEO role and the company’s plans.

"We have a very strong and valuable global footprint, a respected brand and a motivated and talented group of people,” he said.

“The changes we are now implementing will build on these important foundations and it is a tremendous privilege to be given the opportunity to lead the company through our next phase of growth."