Olam International announced on 9th September 2021 that Niall FitzGerald has been appointed as the first Chair of the Board of Directors for Olam's operating group, Olam Food Ingredients (OFI), with immediate effect.
FitzGerald is an esteemed and experienced business leader, and is the current chair of The Leverhulme Trust and the Hakluyt International Advisory Council. He spent over 37 years at Unilever, during which time he served as a Finance Director, Foods Director and Detergents Director, until he was appointed Chair and CEO in 1996 for the next 8 years. Moreover, he served as chair to a wide range of companies and public bodies including Reuters, Hakluyt, Brand Learning, British Museum, Nelson Mandela Legacy Trust, International Business Council and the Advertising Association. He was also part of several Boards, including Bank of Ireland, Ericsson, Merck, Prudential Corp, the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum and International Policy Council for Agriculture and Trade.
OFI was formed in 2020 from the reorganisation of Olam Group, and consolidates its entire food ingredient business including its supply chain model into a single operating group. In August this year, Olam announced that OFI plans to pursue a primary listing on the premium segment of the London Stock Exchange, while concurrently seeking a listing on the Singapore Exchange. FitzGerald's appointment comes as part of the preparations for the listings.
Chairman of Olam’s Board of Directors, Lim Ah Doo said: “On behalf of the Olam Board, I am pleased to welcome Niall FitzGerald, a highly successful and distinguished international business leader to be the first Chair of the Board of OFI. Today’s announcement is an important step in our ongoing preparations for the concurrent listing and demerger of OFI. I am confident that Niall will build and lead an effective Board for OFI, which will provide stewardship for sustained profitable growth and value creation with best-in-class governance for all its stakeholders.”
And A. Shekhar, Chief Executive Officer of OFI, commented: “It will be a privilege to work with Niall and I am confident that his extensive business experience and the network that he has built over his stellar career will bring significant benefits to OFI...Niall’s appointment comes at an important next phase of our evolution, in which his counsel and support will be hugely valuable for me and my management team.”