Martin Dippie, Chairman of Mitre 10 New Zealand, has just announced the shock resignation of the co-op's Chief Executive Officer, Chris Wilesmith, after a little more than a year in the role.
In a statement, he says: “Chris is resigning from his role to return home to Australia on a permanent basis.
"While the role was always an Auckland-based one, he has been commuting between Auckland and Coffs Harbour on a regular basis due to family commitments.
“The recent disruption of the borders closing due to the Covid 19 pandemic has made this travel very challenging.
"Despite the need to quarantine on both sides of the Tasman, Chris has remained highly effective and committed to his leadership role.
"However, with no vaccine in sight and strong indications that our borders will remain tightly controlled for the foreseeable future, travelling between countries will not be sustainable and he has made the difficult decision to resign.
“Chris’ strong leadership during the initial lockdown and in subsequent months allowed the business to operate at very high levels, despite the restrictions and challenges we have faced.
"The Board has been delighted with his impact on the business."
Mitre 10 NZ has started the search for a new CEO through executive search partner Egon Zehnder.
We will be following up on this surprise news over the coming days.
In the meantime go here to read about some of the outgoing CEO's thoughts on and possible directions for the cooperative in the coming years from our interview earlier this year.