Synlait (ASX:SM1) share price on watch after sudden CEO exit

The Synlait Milk Ltd (ASX:SM1) share price could come under pressure again on Monday after announcing the sudden exit of its CEO…

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The Synlait Milk Ltd (ASX: SM1) share price will be one to watch on Monday.

This follows the release of a major announcement this morning by the struggling dairy processor.

What did Synlait Milk announce?

This morning Synlait Milk announced that its board has accepted the resignation of Leon Clement from the role of Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Mr Clement is leaving the company after a little over two and a half years in the CEO role, having joined Synlait Milk in September 2018.

During his tenure, the Synlait Milk share price has lost approximately 72% of its value, falling from $11.73 on 1 September 2018 to $3.22 today.

Nevertheless, the board has spoken positively about the impact he had at the company.

Synlait’s Chair, Graeme Milne, commented: “Leon has been an authentic and transformational leader. He has successfully repositioned Synlait’s purpose, ambition, and strategy to make us a more diversified and sustainable company. On behalf of the Board and all staff we wish Leon the very best in his future career and thank him for his energy and dedication to Synlait during his time with us.”

The outgoing CEO added: “It has been a privilege to lead Synlait. It has been an intensive period of change and growth and I am proud of our achievements. Synlait has an amazing team that is making a positive and sustainable impact in the areas we operate.”

What now?

According to the release, Mr Clement will continue in his role until the end of April.

After which, from 1 May 2021, John Penno (Synlait Co-Founder, Former CEO, and current Director), will assume the role of Interim CEO until a permanent replacement is appointed.

A search for a new permanent CEO will be initiated shortly.

What’s been happening?

Last month the Synlait share price crashed to a multi-year low following the release of a very poor half year result.

Due partly to the weakness facing infant formula customers such as A2 Milk Company Ltd (ASX: A2M), Synlait posted a 76% decline in net profit after tax to NZ$6.4 million.

Unfortunately, things are not expected to get any better in the second half, with management forecasting a breakeven full year result.

Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended A2 Milk. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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