Dried fruit seller Murray River Group appoints turnaround expert as new chief
Food & Agriculture
Investors in dried fruit seller Murray River Group are hoping the appointment of a new chief brings an end to turmoil that has hurt the company over the past year.
Valentina Tripp is the new managing director and CEO, a leader the company emphasises has “a track record of success in turnarounds”.
Murray River’s (ASX:MRG) troubles arguably began with a bad harvest last summer, followed by the two founders being forced out and profit and inventory write downs. A major boardroom battle followed, as the founders successfully regained control of the company.
Murray River now has an almost completely new board — and the two founders have since sold out.
Ms Tripp is, shareholders will hope, the final chapter in a tumultuous story as the man brought in to steady the ship in November resigned earlier this month.
She comes from Simplot and Top Cut group, where she led a turnaround, repositioning the meat distribution business in Australia, China, Japan and Korea. Before that she worked at consultancy KPMG on corporate transformation, strategy, customer growth, supply chain, operational and financial turnarounds.
“I am very excited to be joining Murray River Organics as it prepares for the next stage of growth. As Australia’s largest certified organic producer of dried vine fruit, we have a unique foundation to bring our high quality Australian organic products to the world,” Ms Tripp said.
New chairman Andrew Monk said Ms Tripp would steer a new course as the business “emerges from a period of significant change”.
“The board of Murray River Organics acknowledges that the business has gone through a challenging period, which has been difficult for our staff, customers, suppliers and shareholders,” he said.
“We are all now focused and aligned on our future, attracting the expertise and skills to drive the performance and growth of the company in its next phase of development… As our company sets its sights on expansion across Australia, Asia, US and Europe.”
Murray River shares dropped almost 3 per cent by midday Monday to 35c.