A2 Milk share price: where next as another key leader departs?

A2 Milk has now seen its CMO, CEO and now CTO all depart the company in the last six months. Even so, the company's share price is up ~30% in the last year.

The a2 Milk (ASX: A2M) share price dropped 1.11% – to $14.21 per share yesterday – after the company revealed that its Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Phil Rybinski, would be leaving the company. The company’s stock continued to fall today, dropping 0.7% during the first 15-minutes of trade, as this news continued to circulate the market.

The official reason given for Mr Rybinski’s departure was the pursuit of other interests.

In his place, 'Shareef Khan, Chief Operations Officer, will assume responsibility for all Technical function activities on an interim basis and more permanent leadership arrangements will be announced at a future date,’ the company yesterday reported.

Unfortunately for A2 shareholders, this caps of a relatively tumultuous period for the company’s C-suite.

In November, for example, the company’s Chief Marketing Officer, Susan Massasso stepped down from her role.

In December, A2M’s esteemed Chief Executive Officer Jayne Hrdlicka also stepped down from her role. Media speculation followed that she was ousted from the company due to clashes between her and the Board over A2's growth strategy.

And now, as we just noted, A2’s Chief Technology Officer has been added to the list of C-suite departures.

Not all bad news

Mind you, the company also took yesterday to announce that Race Strauss would be commencing as the company’s new Chief Financial Officer.

Described as an 'extremely experienced finance executive with a strong packaged good background as well as relevant international experience, particularly in China and other Asian regions,’ Mr Strauss has 'spent over 20 years at Unilever where he held a variety of senior roles. More recently Race has spent 7 years in Chief Financial Officer roles with the Qantas Group, including at Jetstar and at Qantas Airlines.'

A2 Milk share price: volatile affair

Though a2 Milk (ASX: A2M) has experienced executive volatility in recent times, the share price has nonetheless proved a solid performer.

Indeed, over the last year the stock has risen ~30% – though, like it’s management team, it too has experienced bouts of volatility in that period – driven primarily by mounting concerns over margin contraction. Specifically, during the back-half of CY19 the A2M share price traded as low as $11.3 per share – as those concerns reached fever pitch. Yet a re-focusing of strategy and the reinstatement of the company’s ex-CEO – looks to have steadied the ship somewhat – with the stock steadily trending up since those November-lows.

A2 Milk is set to report its first-half FY20 results to the market on February 27.

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