Changing of the guard at Emerald Grain

Grain Central, September 13, 2016

Emerald Grain has announced the retirement of its Chief Executive Officer and chairman, John Murray, after more than three years leading the company.

Emerald’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) and veteran grain industry executive David Johnson has been appointed to replace Mr Murray as CEO.

Mr Murray has held leadership positions at some of Australia’s largest agricultural companies, including CEO at Ridley Corporation, Cheetham Salt and AusBulk, and Group General Manager International Operations for Elders.

Despite retiring from executive roles, he will continue with Emerald Grain as a non-executive director.

During his time leading Emerald Grain, Mr Murray oversaw the acquisition and integration of regional grain marketing companies SQP Grain and Southern Ag Grain, transitioned the company’s grain acquisition model from pool-based to cash only, and supported the introduction of leading digital grower interfaces such as Grain Mate.

He also championed the development of Iron Road’s multi-commodity export facility proposed for Cape Hardy on the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia.

“The Australian grain industry landscape is almost unrecognisable from when I began as CEO of AusBulk twenty years ago, and the pace of change, or disruption, will continue, forcing grain companies to be increasingly innovative, with efficient supply chain networks and payment systems,” Mr Murray said.

With twenty-five years’ experience in the grains industry, locally and overseas, David Johnson, began as Emerald Grain CEO on September 1, 2016.

Mr Johnson has held a number of senior roles within the sector, including seven-years as AWB Pool Manager at the peak of the pool prior to deregulation. He was previously Emerald’s COO having served as the company’s Trading and Marketing General Manager prior to that.

“With the backing of Sumitomo Corporation, Emerald Grain is well-positioned to tackle the challenges and opportunities ahead, and I’m thrilled to be able to lead the company through its next phase,” he said.

Emerald Grain is one of the largest grain marketing and supply chain businesses in Australia, with a global network and supplying Australian grain to over 35 countries. The company runs 11 up-country grain storage facilities in Victoria and New South Wales, feeding their Melbourne Port Terminal and a new joint venture terminal at Port Kembla.

In February 2014, Sumitomo Corporation from Japan acquired 100 per cent ownership of Emerald Grain. The Sumitomo Corporation is a global trading company employing over 70,000 people across 66 countries. Sumitomo’s business in Australasia commenced in 1961 and its current activities include a diverse portfolio of investments, manufacturing, and the import and export of commodities that serve the agricultural, mining and industrial markets.

An Emerald Grain statement said Sumitomo Corporation recently completed a strategic review of its investment in the company, and decided to retain its ownership in the company.

The statement said Sumitomo “recognised Emerald’s infrastructure, trading and grain origination strength, along with the many future opportunities for the business, such as the growing global demand for grain, particularly in Asia.

Sumitomo Corporation’s Hideki Hijiya said John Murray had led the consolidation of Sumitomo’s various grain investments under the Emerald Grain brand and strengthened the company’s presence in the market-place.

“John leaves Emerald Grain in a strong position as one of Australia’s largest grain marketing and supply chain businesses, we will continue to benefit from his experience as a non-executive director and we have every confidence that David will further strengthen Emerald’s brand and position in the market,” he said.

Source: Emerald Grain





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