Troubled Freedom Foods keeps it in the family for now – The Australian Financial Review

Investors were told the company grew too quickly with not enough oversight and that it now had too many different products. Demand for products remained strong, the company said.

"There is a need for executive ownership and accountability to implement the operational turnaround. This cannot wait for an external search for a new CEO to be completed," the company said in a statement.

"Michael Perich has a deep understanding of the business and will provide the stability, focus and leadership required as the company manages the issues that have been previously reported to the ASX."

The company said Mr Perich's incentive arrangements would be established at a later date.

Mr Perich has previously acted as a Freedom non-executive alternate director for Ron Perich, and was also director of dairy farm operations at the Perichs' Leppington Pastoral Company as well as joint managing director of Australian Fresh Milk Holdings.

Executive chairman Perry Gunner will resume his role as chairman. The company also flagged "further board rejuvenation" after appointing new directors Jane McKellar and Genevieve Gregor, a former Goldman Sachs banker, earlier this year. Ms McKellar is overseeing the chief executive search process.

Freedom Foods said it intended to conduct an external process for a permanent CEO "at the appropriate time once the operational turnaround is sufficiently progressed".

Freedom Foods, whose brands include Messy Monkeys and Milk Lab, has appointed a number of advisers to conduct a review into the company, including Moelis, PWC and Ashurst.

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Troubled Freedom Foods keeps it in the family for now - The Australian Financial Review

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