Orora MD Nigel Garrard to retire

Orora managing director Nigel Garrard is retiring with Brian Lowe named as his replacement.

Garrard will step down as managing director and chief executive officer of Australian printing and packaging giant Orora later this year and says creating a positive workplace culture is the achievement he is most proud of after 10 years in the role.

Garrard says the decision was not taken lightly but he and Orora chairman Chris Roberts say they have immense confidence in Brian Lowe, who has been elevated from his current role as group general manager of Orora Fibre Packaging Group to the top job.

Garrard will officially step down on September 30 with Lowe taking office from October 1.

“The Orora business has been a significant part of my life for more than a decade so it is with mixed emotions today that I have elected to retire and will say goodbye at the end of September,” Garrard said.

“I’ve decided it is time to invest more time in other areas of my life to take on some new challenges and frankly to spend a bit more time with my family.

“I also think that after a decade in the job the time is right for the next generation of leadership to take Orora forward.”

It has now been over six years since Orora de-merged from Amcor Packaging and in that time, with Garrard at the helm, the company has strengthened its balance sheet and made significant investments buying a number of printing and packaging businesses in north America.

“At the time of de-merger I said our mantra should be ‘respectful of the past, excited about the future’ and I think if I look back over the last six and a half years I think the single thing that I would be most proud of is how we created an Orora culture that our people believe in passionately,” Garrard said.

“We have been respectful of the past about our time under Amcor and we’ve been excited about the future. There is a lot of talk in the media and other places about the importance of culture in organisations and I think what we’ve been able to develop with the Orora culture has positioned our business well and I think it is a competitive advantage. As I look back on my time here it is probably the single thing that I am most proud of.”

Lowe said once he has fully transitioned into the role it will be business as usual with him  spending the next 90 days getting to know all parts of the business and dividing his time between Australasia and north America.

“For me the plan is to simply continue to run the business as usual. While there are always challenges to overcome in any business I believe the opportunities ahead for Orora are enormous,” Lowe said.

“Orora’s strong balance sheet certainly has the company well positioned to continue to invest in strengthening the businesses and to pursue growth opportunities.

“Over the next 90 days my plan is to take time to engage with each of the business groups and their teams to better understand the issues and opportunities as well as to pressure test my impressions and initial thinking.

“We have a large portion of our business in the US and we have been our expanding our businesses in the US over recent years and I would intend to be splitting my time between Australasia and North America so you can expect to see me spending quite a bit of time there.

“Given this will take me up to the AGM in October I will provide an update on how the transition is progressing at that time.”

Chairman Chris Roberts said Lowe’s appointment came after intense searches both internally and externally.

“After completing a comprehensive internal and external succession planning process, I am delighted that someone of Brian’s calibre will lead Orora into the future. He is an experienced leader, with a deep knowledge of the business and a demonstrated ability to drive performance,” Roberts said.

Roberts also acknowledged Garrard’s substantial contributions to Orora.

“I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge Nigel for his outstanding leadership and contribution to Orora both pre and post de-merger from Amcor. Nigel’s many achievements speak for themselves and Brian certainly inherits a well invested and very solid business with a strong balance sheet which is well placed to pursue ongoing growth in its key segments and markets,” Robert said.

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