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Wyeth moves to Westland Dairy to lead growth

9th November 2020 By Staff Reporter | | @foodtickernz

New Zealand dairy industry executive, Richard Wyeth, has been named as the new chief executive of Westland Dairy Company.

Wyeth will take up the post on February 22 next year replacing interim boss, Shiqing Jian, at the Hokitika-headquartered business which was recently bought by Chinese dairy company Yili Group.

Wyeth has spent the past 13 years in the dairy industry, firstly with Open Country Dairy and then as founding chief executive for Maori-owned milk processor Miraka which he joined in 2010 before stepping down last month.

Prior to this, Wyeth worked in commercial roles at Coca-Cola Amatil and DB Breweries.

Interim chief executive Shiqing Jian will step down in February. Image: Westland Dairy Company

Westland was New Zealand’s second-largest dairy co-operative before being sold to Yili last year for $588m. Then chief executive Toni Brendish had repositioned the group away from being a commodities producer to a modern company with branded products including Westgold as well as segregated milk products.

Brendish left the company in August after four years in the role, when responsibility for the role was assumed by Jian.

Jian said Wyeth’s experience in driving growth over more than a decade at executive level for independent New Zealand dairy processors made him the ideal candidate to lead Westland’s future.

“Yili is a company that is on a strong growth trajectory,’’ Jian said. 

“Global revenue and net profit has continued to increase this year with Yili now the fifth largest dairy company in the world by revenue.

“We firmly believe demand for Westland products will continue to grow, not just in China, but around the world and we are looking forward to Richard playing an important role in our global growth.’’

Jian will stay on as resident director of both Westland and South Canterbury-based Oceania Dairy for the Yili Group.



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