Blackmores heir takes over as CEO of the company

Written on the 20 March 2019 by Business News Australia

Blackmores heir takes over as CEO of the company

The son of the late founder of Blackmores (ASX:BKL) will take over the health company as interim CEO.

Executive director Marcus Blackmore (pictured) will step in as interim CEO from 1 April.

The appointment of Marcus comes following the shock resignation of Richard Henfry in late February after just 18 months in the role.

Henfry stepped down a week after the group forecast short-term impacts on profit growth due to softened conditions in China and the cost of investments. While Blackmores achieved record sales in the first half, profit growth was flat and China segment sales were down 11 per cent.

Marcus, son of Blackmores founder Maurice Blackmore, first joined the family business when he was 18 years old and has served on its board since 1973, including as executive chairman until 2017.

He holds a 23.23 per cent shareholding in the company (at the end of FY18) which is well known for its line of vitamins, supplements, and other health products.

Blackmores chairman Brent Wallace welcomed the heir to the position.

"Marcus has a proven commitment to Blackmores and is a giant of the natural health industry," says Wallace.

"In this interim role, he will lead the work to streamline the company, to achieve ongoing success for our business, our people and our shareholders."

Marcus will remain in the role of CEO until the board has found a suitable replacement for Henfry.

Maurice Blackmore founded the company on the principles of naturopathy; a radical perspective in the 1930s. He was also responsible for opening one of the first health food stores in Brisbane in 1938.

Marcus took the reins of the business in 1975 committed to the principles laid down by his father whom he often defends.

"I have recently been honoured with a number of awards recognising lifetime achievements. Those awards rightfully belong to my father, Maurice Blackmore, Australia's pioneering naturopath," says Marcus.

"But in his time he was oft referred to as a quack, a charlatan or a snake oil salesman, so it was difficult for the establishment to recognise his contributing to natural health and to natural medicine. To see so many of his teachings now accepted as mainstream is immensely rewarding for those of us who continue his life's work in the very company he created. He was ahead of his time."

Shares in Blackmores are down 0.75 per cent to $96.84 per share at 12.09pm AEDT.

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