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  • Freedom Foods (FNP) has announced CEO Rory Macleod, who went on leave last week, has officially quit
  • The CEO and CFO have both left the company, and changes have been announced in several other management positions
  • The news comes after the food manufacturer announced a $35 million cost blow-out, related to expired products
  • In total, $60 million worth of Freedom Foods products have been written off
  • An investigation has also been launched into the company’s financial position
  • Meanwhile, Freedom is under-fire from shareholders for failing to implement a trading halt, after announcing the CEO was on leave
  • Freedom’s shares remain suspended

Freedom Foods (FNP) CEO Rory Macleod has officially quit the company, after going on leave last week, amid an investigation into its financial position.

In a statement today, Freedom announced Rory had resigned from his CEO and Managing Director positions. He also resigned from the board.

Sliding doors

Previous Commercial Director Brendan Radford has stepped into the CEO role in the interim.

Meanwhile, Perry Gunner was announced as the new Executive Chairman, and Trevor Allen as the new Company Secretary.

CFO Campbell Nicholas, who also quit last week, will be replaced by Group General Manager of Corporate Development, Stephanie Graham.

No explanation has been given for the former CEO’s resignation, however, Freedom did reveal it has hired Ashurst and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to help investigate the company’s financial position.

Investigation launched

The food manufacturer advised the ASX last week it wanted to be suspended from official quotation, while it awaits the result of an investigation into its financial position.

A trading halt was also implemented, but it came too late to stop a plunge in Freedom’s share price.

More than 20 per cent was wiped off Freedom’s shares when the initial changes to the CEO position were announced.

When it last traded, shares were being sold for $3.01 each.

Inventory blowout

The changes in management, and subsequent investigation, come after an initial inventory write-off blew out in costs.

Initially, Freedom reported an inventory review identified $25 million worth of expired, out-of-date and recalled products.

That number was then increased last week, by $35 million, to bring the total cost of the expired product to $60 million.

However, there is the potential for that figure to grow further still, as inventory continues.

Freedom’s shares remain suspended.

FNP by the numbers
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