GrainCorp CEO resigns as ADM takeover denied

Alison Watkins, managing director and chief executive of GrainCorp has announced her resignation just days after the company takeover by US agricultural giant, Archer Daniels Midland was rejected by Treasurer Joe Hockey.

Watkins will move on to a new role as group managing director at beverages giant, Coca-Cola Amatil, replacing Terry Davis on 3 March, 2014.

“It is with great regret that the Board has accepted Alison’s resignation, however we respect her decision to move on, particularly when a change of control in GrainCorp was broadly expected to occur over the coming weeks,” said chairman of GrainCorp, Don Taylorin, in a statement to the ASX.

“The expectation in the investment community was that ADM’s offer for GrainCorp would be approved and effected in the near term. In the context, it is not surprising that an executive of Alison’s calibre has attracted interest and had new opportunities presented to her. As much as we regret her decision, we wish her every success in the next stage of her career.”

Watkins said that her decision was not made lightly, however she feels that her departure will be in the best interests of GrainCorp.

“I had planned to leave the company at the time control passed over to ADM. Given last week’s unexpected developments, I feel it is in the best interests of GrainCorp, our people and customers that I move on now and allow the Board to find new leadership to take the business forward into its new phase.”


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