OUR EXECUTIVE TEAM

CRAIG GARVIN
CRAIG GARVIN

REGIONAL CEO
........................................................................................................................................

What are the key responsibilities that come with being the CEO?

I think the most important role any CEO plays is leading people – creating a vision, and getting everybody to buy into it. It doesn't matter whether they work on the factory floor, or they’re a senior manager - everybody needs to be on the same page. It’s about alignment of purpose.


How do you define success?

Success to me is engagement, achievement, quality, consistency - it’s constant improvement – being better this year than we were last year, across a whole range of key performance indicators. The point I’d like to stress - it’s more than results. At Parmalat, we talk about results x behavior. That’s what drives sustainability. We have three very clear values – Simplicity, Ambition and Engagement. If our people are living and breathing those values, I think we will continue to be successful. But buy in comes from chatting with, not preaching to.


The retail market in Australia isn't exactly a walk in the park – how do you keep people motivated in challenging times?

Winning helps, and we are winning – that’s the first point. They might be small wins - “hard ball gets” to coin a footy phrase, but that’s what makes them worthwhile. Beyond that, I think the key is to focus on what you can control, as opposed to worrying and getting frustrated by events and circumstances beyond your centre of influence. The other point is simply enjoying what you do. Working hard, yes, but having fun, and that comes from achieving and from the interactions you have with the people around you – your relationships and friendships. We all spend a lot of time at work – we might as well enjoy it.


Have you thought about the legacy you’d like to leave?

Not really. It would be something around building Parmalat’s reputation as a high achieving, high integrity organization, where anybody with the right mindset could reach their potential, where they could learn and grow, but still understand that no individual was more important than the team.
CRAIG GARVIN
CRAIG GARVIN
DAVID PITT
DAVID PITT

GENERAL MANAGER AUSTRALIA
........................................................................................................................................

Sales is usually a very dynamic, fast moving function in any business. Do you have a favorite “business principle” that you abide by?

Simplicity. Keeping everything as simple as possible. It’s a company value as well. If there’s too much complexity in what you’re doing, some people are likely to be left behind. And in Sales, you need everybody on the same page, right from the get go. So use that as the common denominator and take people on the journey with you as you build from there.


What sort of qualities do you look for when you’re recruiting?

It might sound a little cliched, but I defer to Jack Welch’s four “Es”. Energy – crucial to performance in any business. Energizers – the ability to spark others, but also set an example and take responsibility for their own actions. Edge – competitive types willing to make the hard call, never allowing the degree of difficulty to get in their way. And finally Execute - action. Getting stuff done. You can talk all you like, but nothing happens in business until somebody sells something!


People or Task – what’s more important?

At the start of my career, it was all task. To my own detriment. Through age and experience (and lots of candid feedback!) I’ve come to realise that a balance between the two is essential. That’s the very foundation of a sustainable business. Now, developing people is my passion. Delivering sales growth will always be the aim of the game, however the rewarding part is to see people grow in their roles. Provide support to get that right and the big sales numbers will come. In a similar sense, I believe senior executives can always learn from junior staff as well. They’re often looking at the world through fresh eyes, and that can be invaluable so I try and make myself as approachable and accessible as possible. That way, they are more likely to tell me what they’re really thinking.
DAVID PITT
DAVID PITT
NIGEL ULRICH
NIGEL ULRICH

GENERAL MANAGER | LEGAL
........................................................................................................................................

Another long term staffer, how did you find your way into the business?

I actually joined Pauls - as it was then - as an accountant, working in the company’s hotel division in the Northern Territory. There’s been a lot of changes since then – Pauls quickly got out of hotels, and I pretty quickly got out of accountancy to study law!


How would you describe the culture of the business today?

Very positive, engaged, forward thinking, an organization that empowers it’s people to make decisions. There’s support at the higher level, hopefully without micro-management.


In your role, you must need to have a broad understanding of the business?

I do. And that ties in with the best piece of management advice I’ve ever received. I was told very early on in my career – you can't properly manage a business unless you know what the hell it does. The point being, the better you understand how a business works - how all the key functions fit together – the more informed the decisions you can make. So walk around, talk to people about what they do, beyond a superficial level. Understanding the key business drivers is essential.


People or task – what’s more important?

People. Unless you’ve got good people, the task will never get done.


A busy, high pressure job, how do you keep your life in balance?

For me, exercise is a priority – I’m a keen cyclist, and after you’ve ridden 120kms, including up a few mountains, you’re too exhausted to think or worry about anything to do with work! I admit – in this modern day age of connectivity and accessibility, it can be a real trap for senior executives. You can become completely immersed in work, if you allow yourself. Fortunately, the culture at Parmalat steers people away from that singular focus. Productivity is important, but activity for activity’s sake is not.
NIGEL ULRICH
NIGEL ULRICH
RON GRANTHAM
RON GRANTHAM

GENERAL MANAGER INDUSTRIAL
........................................................................................................................................

What are the specific challenges that come with manufacturing dairy products?

Probably more than anything else, the time frame and the complexity. We are dealing with a milk supply seven days a week, 365 days a year, making products with a very short shelf life, and servicing markets both domestic and international. There’s no time to get it wrong. There’s always pressure - meeting customer demands, and making sure products are fresh and of the highest quality, irrespective of whether it’s raining, hailing or shining.


You have a large team, spread across a lot of different manufacturing sites. How do you go about leading them?

I try to stay very positive. A good attitude is essential. It's important too, to recognize that everybody is trying to do the best they can. We’re human. We don't always get everything right, but in the same breath, nobody turns up to work intending to do a crappy job. They want to do well. My main responsibility is to provide an environment where they can do their best, where they can learn and grow, and develop a true sense of achievement.


More broadly, what appeals to you about working for Parmalat?

In a nutshell, great people, great culture, great brands. Brands that contribute to people’s health and well being. They’re real, they’re locally made. These days, we source a lot of “stuff” from China. We are never going to source fresh milk from China.


Outside of work, what do you do to unwind?

Family is very important. I still play seniors footy in winter – nothing serious, just a gallop around. I’m also a passionate St Kilda supporter.


Sorry to hear that!

Yes – it’s taught me to endure. But the occasional sweet moment – they taste even sweeter! I think we can learn a lot from sport and team environments. Pretty well everything that happens in a dressing shed happens in a business environment as well.
RON GRANTHAM
RON GRANTHAM
ROD WALDEN
ROD WALDEN

CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
........................................................................................................................................

The company’s most experienced executive - you’ve been working at Parmalat now for in excess of 35 years – you must like the place?!

Love it! Born to a milkman, my first job at the age was 11 was a milk run, I went to Uni, studied, and since then, I’ve been working for a Milk company. Or at least that’s what it was when I joined. It’s a lot bigger than that now.


How would you describe the culture of the business today?

Dairy is a healthy product, an ethical product. Not like cigarettes or gaming or alcohol. It contributes to our health and wellbeing – 99.9% of the population recognizes this as fact. Being part of an industry that is so well regarded, that plays a part in so many people’s lives – I think that’s worth celebrating.


You must have witnessed some dramatic changes over such a lengthy period?

Virtually nothing today bears any resemblance to what it was like when I joined in 1979. It’s a completely different business. But I’d say the most significant change is the global footprint Parmalat now enjoys. When I started, we were a regional business with national aspirations. A turnover of $300 million. Now we’re part of Global powerhouse, with dairy operations in more than 50 countries, a turnover of $18 billion.


What are some of the benefits of that ownership structure?

Security, financial strength, knowledge and experience, shared intelligence, cultural exchange, opportunities for growth, both from a business and an individual perspective – the list is endless. In the past few years alone, for instance, we have acquired Harvey Fresh in Western Australia, and Longwarry Milk and Jindi cheese in Victoria. This could not have been achieved without the support of our parent company.
ROD WALDEN
ROD WALDEN
PASCAL FRANCISQUE
PASCAL FRANCISQUE

CEO, LEMNOS FOODS, LACTALIS JINDI
........................................................................................................................................

As the sole Frenchman in the Parmalat Exco team, what do you think you bring to the Australian business? Anything slightly different in terms of thinking or behavior?

I think in Australia and France we have very different business cultures. We can make a mistake in believing everything here is the same as it is in France. It is not the same. Australians are more open. They have very good business relationships. In France, people can be quite insular. They are under huge pressure because of the economic situation, but they have other strengths. They are very thorough. They have good processes. I think I can take the best of both worlds. After 20 years of working with Lactalis, I can also help Australians understand the French way, and how they are likely to respond in certain circumstances.


You’re responsible for the company’s cheese operation here in Australia. Are Australians embracing the French and Italian cheeses that you’re now manufacturing locally, as well as importing?

Yes they are. President, our prestige soft cheese, is very famous in many parts of the world – in America, in Asia, in Africa and of course in Europe. Until recently consumers here had not been exposed to President, nor to Galbani, a very well known Italian cheese brand, but we are investing heavily to raise awareness. We are very happy with the progress we are making. The brands are now available in major retail outlets and also through food service channels. We are very positive about the future.


Are you a passionate cheese person yourself?

Of course - I’m French! Cheese is part of our food gastronomy. When we eat, we have a starter, a main, but we always have cheese before desert. The French take their cheeses very seriously! In the business now at the end of the week, we enjoy some wine and cheese. That’s before the Aussies have their beer!


Have you had a chance to travel around Australia, while you have been working here?

I have made a point of it. Such a beautiful country. So too New Zealand. Very different from Europe. In March 2014, I took a trip out to Uluru – it was truly magnificent. When you travel, it is very easy to meet people too. Everybody is very friendly. They talk about anything and everything!
PASCAL FRANCISQUE
PASCAL FRANCISQUE
VINCE HOULIHAN
VINCE HOULIHAN

GENERAL MANAGER | SUPPLY CHAIN
........................................................................................................................................

You’ve been in part of the company for almost 30 years – what’s kept you there for that length of time?

An organization that takes milk from a farm, converts it into drinking products, yoghurt, cheese, desserts, and then delivers it into the hands of consumers – it’s an incredibly interesting business. I’ve spent my entire career, exploring how it works. And every time I think I know all there is to know… guess what? – I’ll discover something completely new!


You're regarded as walking talking Dairy encyclopedia. Hit us with some Cow trivia.

OK. The average cow produces around 30 litres of milk a day – but only for 250 to 280 days a year. So that’s around 5000 to 6000 litres of milk a year. A bit more when they first calve.


Who’s the better business partner – the farmers or the cows?

What I’d like to say about the farmers – they are genuinely passionate about what they do - their animals and the process of farming. It’s a tough game – not for the faint hearted, but we work closely with them to ensure the best possible result for all parties.


Do you have a favourite management philosophy?

I’ve really come to appreciate there’s more creativity in any team than there is in any individual. You can be the smartest person in the room, but you're never going to be smarter than the whole group. The key as a leader is harnessing that team effort and knowledge, to get the best possible outcome. The other key for me is finding time to switch off. To have some down time when you’re not thinking about work. It’s getting harder and harder on account of technology but we all need to find ways. We need to be disciplined.
VINCE HOULIHAN
VINCE HOULIHAN
RICCARDO PIAGGI
RICCARDO PIAGGI

GENERAL MANAGER | HUMAN RESOURCES
........................................................................................................................................

You’ve been working with Parmalat in Italy for more than a decade, but in Australia only since 2014. What are your observations about Australian business culture?

I find it very open. People are warm and friendly. I think mostly very positive. Other than that, I’m convinced that working with people – investing in human capital - is the same the world over. You need to engage people, provide them with a sense of belonging, motivate them, and not overwhelm them with complicated systems and processes.


How important is communication in that process?

Communication is a key pillar in any successful business. Communicate poorly and you create huge problems. Communicate well and you create opportunities. It is important to have the same thinking cascading down through the organization and that’s not possible without effective communication – disseminating the right message, through the right channels at the right time.


Have you embraced Australia’s proud sporting culture since you’ve been in Australia? Will we see you, for instance in Bay 13 on December 26, beer in hand, watching the first day of the Boxing Day Test at the MCG?

I don't know that much about cricket. But I support all the Football teams we sponsor. The Penrith Panthers, the Freemantle Dockers, and the Brisbane Roar. I have plenty of teams to cheer.


If Parmalat changes it’s allegiance – if they take on new sponsorships - will you support those teams instead!?

Of course. Whomever we support, I will support! I am very passionate and also very loyal to my favourite Italians team only!
RICCARDO PIAGGI
RICCARDO PIAGGI
CRAIG GARVIN
CRAIG GARVIN

REGIONAL CEO
........................................................................................................................................

What are the key responsibilities that come with being the CEO?

I think the most important role any CEO plays is leading people – creating a vision, and getting everybody to buy into it. It doesn't matter whether they work on the factory floor, or they’re a senior manager - everybody needs to be on the same page. It’s about alignment of purpose.


How do you define success?

Success to me is engagement, achievement, quality, consistency - it’s constant improvement – being better this year than we were last year, across a whole range of key performance indicators. The point I’d like to stress - it’s more than results. At Parmalat, we talk about results x behavior. That’s what drives sustainability. We have three very clear values – Simplicity, Ambition and Engagement. If our people are living and breathing those values, I think we will continue to be successful. But buy in comes from chatting with, not preaching to.


The retail market in Australia isn't exactly a walk in the park – how do you keep people motivated in challenging times?

Winning helps, and we are winning – that’s the first point. They might be small wins - “hard ball gets” to coin a footy phrase, but that’s what makes them worthwhile. Beyond that, I think the key is to focus on what you can control, as opposed to worrying and getting frustrated by events and circumstances beyond your centre of influence. The other point is simply enjoying what you do. Working hard, yes, but having fun, and that comes from achieving and from the interactions you have with the people around you – your relationships and friendships. We all spend a lot of time at work – we might as well enjoy it.


Have you thought about the legacy you’d like to leave?

Not really. It would be something around building Parmalat’s reputation as a high achieving, high integrity organization, where anybody with the right mindset could reach their potential, where they could learn and grow, but still understand that no individual was more important than the team.
CRAIG GARVIN
CRAIG GARVIN
DAVID PITT
DAVID PITT

GENERAL MANAGER AUSTRALIA
........................................................................................................................................

Sales is usually a very dynamic, fast moving function in any business. Do you have a favorite “business principle” that you abide by?

Simplicity. Keeping everything as simple as possible. It’s a company value as well. If there’s too much complexity in what you’re doing, some people are likely to be left behind. And in Sales, you need everybody on the same page, right from the get go. So use that as the common denominator and take people on the journey with you as you build from there.


What sort of qualities do you look for when you’re recruiting?

It might sound a little cliched, but I defer to Jack Welch’s four “Es”. Energy – crucial to performance in any business. Energizers – the ability to spark others, but also set an example and take responsibility for their own actions. Edge – competitive types willing to make the hard call, never allowing the degree of difficulty to get in their way. And finally Execute - action. Getting stuff done. You can talk all you like, but nothing happens in business until somebody sells something!


People or Task – what’s more important?

At the start of my career, it was all task. To my own detriment. Through age and experience (and lots of candid feedback!) I’ve come to realise that a balance between the two is essential. That’s the very foundation of a sustainable business. Now, developing people is my passion. Delivering sales growth will always be the aim of the game, however the rewarding part is to see people grow in their roles. Provide support to get that right and the big sales numbers will come. In a similar sense, I believe senior executives can always learn from junior staff as well. They’re often looking at the world through fresh eyes, and that can be invaluable so I try and make myself as approachable and accessible as possible. That way, they are more likely to tell me what they’re really thinking.
DAVID PITT
DAVID PITT
NIGEL ULRICH
NIGEL ULRICH

GENERAL MANAGER | LEGAL
........................................................................................................................................

Another long term staffer, how did you find your way into the business?

I actually joined Pauls - as it was then - as an accountant, working in the company’s hotel division in the Northern Territory. There’s been a lot of changes since then – Pauls quickly got out of hotels, and I pretty quickly got out of accountancy to study law!


How would you describe the culture of the business today?

Very positive, engaged, forward thinking, an organization that empowers it’s people to make decisions. There’s support at the higher level, hopefully without micro-management.


In your role, you must need to have a broad understanding of the business?

I do. And that ties in with the best piece of management advice I’ve ever received. I was told very early on in my career – you can't properly manage a business unless you know what the hell it does. The point being, the better you understand how a business works - how all the key functions fit together – the more informed the decisions you can make. So walk around, talk to people about what they do, beyond a superficial level. Understanding the key business drivers is essential.


People or task – what’s more important?

People. Unless you’ve got good people, the task will never get done.


A busy, high pressure job, how do you keep your life in balance?

For me, exercise is a priority – I’m a keen cyclist, and after you’ve ridden 120kms, including up a few mountains, you’re too exhausted to think or worry about anything to do with work! I admit – in this modern day age of connectivity and accessibility, it can be a real trap for senior executives. You can become completely immersed in work, if you allow yourself. Fortunately, the culture at Parmalat steers people away from that singular focus. Productivity is important, but activity for activity’s sake is not.
NIGEL ULRICH
NIGEL ULRICH
RON GRANTHAM
RON GRANTHAM

GENERAL MANAGER INDUSTRIAL
........................................................................................................................................

What are the specific challenges that come with manufacturing dairy products?

Probably more than anything else, the time frame and the complexity. We are dealing with a milk supply seven days a week, 365 days a year, making products with a very short shelf life, and servicing markets both domestic and international. There’s no time to get it wrong. There’s always pressure - meeting customer demands, and making sure products are fresh and of the highest quality, irrespective of whether it’s raining, hailing or shining.


You have a large team, spread across a lot of different manufacturing sites. How do you go about leading them?

I try to stay very positive. A good attitude is essential. It's important too, to recognize that everybody is trying to do the best they can. We’re human. We don't always get everything right, but in the same breath, nobody turns up to work intending to do a crappy job. They want to do well. My main responsibility is to provide an environment where they can do their best, where they can learn and grow, and develop a true sense of achievement.


More broadly, what appeals to you about working for Parmalat?

In a nutshell, great people, great culture, great brands. Brands that contribute to people’s health and well being. They’re real, they’re locally made. These days, we source a lot of “stuff” from China. We are never going to source fresh milk from China.


Outside of work, what do you do to unwind?

Family is very important. I still play seniors footy in winter – nothing serious, just a gallop around. I’m also a passionate St Kilda supporter.


Sorry to hear that!

Yes – it’s taught me to endure. But the occasional sweet moment – they taste even sweeter! I think we can learn a lot from sport and team environments. Pretty well everything that happens in a dressing shed happens in a business environment as well.
RON GRANTHAM
RON GRANTHAM
ROD WALDEN
ROD WALDEN

CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
........................................................................................................................................

The company’s most experienced executive - you’ve been working at Parmalat now for in excess of 35 years – you must like the place?!

Love it! Born to a milkman, my first job at the age was 11 was a milk run, I went to Uni, studied, and since then, I’ve been working for a Milk company. Or at least that’s what it was when I joined. It’s a lot bigger than that now.


How would you describe the culture of the business today?

Dairy is a healthy product, an ethical product. Not like cigarettes or gaming or alcohol. It contributes to our health and wellbeing – 99.9% of the population recognizes this as fact. Being part of an industry that is so well regarded, that plays a part in so many people’s lives – I think that’s worth celebrating.


You must have witnessed some dramatic changes over such a lengthy period?

Virtually nothing today bears any resemblance to what it was like when I joined in 1979. It’s a completely different business. But I’d say the most significant change is the global footprint Parmalat now enjoys. When I started, we were a regional business with national aspirations. A turnover of $300 million. Now we’re part of Global powerhouse, with dairy operations in more than 50 countries, a turnover of $18 billion.


What are some of the benefits of that ownership structure?

Security, financial strength, knowledge and experience, shared intelligence, cultural exchange, opportunities for growth, both from a business and an individual perspective – the list is endless. In the past few years alone, for instance, we have acquired Harvey Fresh in Western Australia, and Longwarry Milk and Jindi cheese in Victoria. This could not have been achieved without the support of our parent company.
ROD WALDEN
ROD WALDEN
PASCAL FRANCISQUE
PASCAL FRANCISQUE

CEO, LEMNOS FOODS, LACTALIS JINDI
........................................................................................................................................

As the sole Frenchman in the Parmalat Exco team, what do you think you bring to the Australian business? Anything slightly different in terms of thinking or behavior?

I think in Australia and France we have very different business cultures. We can make a mistake in believing everything here is the same as it is in France. It is not the same. Australians are more open. They have very good business relationships. In France, people can be quite insular. They are under huge pressure because of the economic situation, but they have other strengths. They are very thorough. They have good processes. I think I can take the best of both worlds. After 20 years of working with Lactalis, I can also help Australians understand the French way, and how they are likely to respond in certain circumstances.


You’re responsible for the company’s cheese operation here in Australia. Are Australians embracing the French and Italian cheeses that you’re now manufacturing locally, as well as importing?

Yes they are. President, our prestige soft cheese, is very famous in many parts of the world – in America, in Asia, in Africa and of course in Europe. Until recently consumers here had not been exposed to President, nor to Galbani, a very well known Italian cheese brand, but we are investing heavily to raise awareness. We are very happy with the progress we are making. The brands are now available in major retail outlets and also through food service channels. We are very positive about the future.


Are you a passionate cheese person yourself?

Of course - I’m French! Cheese is part of our food gastronomy. When we eat, we have a starter, a main, but we always have cheese before desert. The French take their cheeses very seriously! In the business now at the end of the week, we enjoy some wine and cheese. That’s before the Aussies have their beer!


Have you had a chance to travel around Australia, while you have been working here?

I have made a point of it. Such a beautiful country. So too New Zealand. Very different from Europe. In March 2014, I took a trip out to Uluru – it was truly magnificent. When you travel, it is very easy to meet people too. Everybody is very friendly. They talk about anything and everything!
PASCAL FRANCISQUE
PASCAL FRANCISQUE
VINCE HOULIHAN
VINCE HOULIHAN

GENERAL MANAGER | SUPPLY CHAIN
........................................................................................................................................

You’ve been in part of the company for almost 30 years – what’s kept you there for that length of time?

An organization that takes milk from a farm, converts it into drinking products, yoghurt, cheese, desserts, and then delivers it into the hands of consumers – it’s an incredibly interesting business. I’ve spent my entire career, exploring how it works. And every time I think I know all there is to know… guess what? – I’ll discover something completely new!


You're regarded as walking talking Dairy encyclopedia. Hit us with some Cow trivia.

OK. The average cow produces around 30 litres of milk a day – but only for 250 to 280 days a year. So that’s around 5000 to 6000 litres of milk a year. A bit more when they first calve.


Who’s the better business partner – the farmers or the cows?

What I’d like to say about the farmers – they are genuinely passionate about what they do - their animals and the process of farming. It’s a tough game – not for the faint hearted, but we work closely with them to ensure the best possible result for all parties.


Do you have a favourite management philosophy?

I’ve really come to appreciate there’s more creativity in any team than there is in any individual. You can be the smartest person in the room, but you're never going to be smarter than the whole group. The key as a leader is harnessing that team effort and knowledge, to get the best possible outcome. The other key for me is finding time to switch off. To have some down time when you’re not thinking about work. It’s getting harder and harder on account of technology but we all need to find ways. We need to be disciplined.
VINCE HOULIHAN
VINCE HOULIHAN
RICCARDO PIAGGI
RICCARDO PIAGGI

GENERAL MANAGER | HUMAN RESOURCES
........................................................................................................................................

You’ve been working with Parmalat in Italy for more than a decade, but in Australia only since 2014. What are your observations about Australian business culture?

I find it very open. People are warm and friendly. I think mostly very positive. Other than that, I’m convinced that working with people – investing in human capital - is the same the world over. You need to engage people, provide them with a sense of belonging, motivate them, and not overwhelm them with complicated systems and processes.


How important is communication in that process?

Communication is a key pillar in any successful business. Communicate poorly and you create huge problems. Communicate well and you create opportunities. It is important to have the same thinking cascading down through the organization and that’s not possible without effective communication – disseminating the right message, through the right channels at the right time.


Have you embraced Australia’s proud sporting culture since you’ve been in Australia? Will we see you, for instance in Bay 13 on December 26, beer in hand, watching the first day of the Boxing Day Test at the MCG?

I don't know that much about cricket. But I support all the Football teams we sponsor. The Penrith Panthers, the Freemantle Dockers, and the Brisbane Roar. I have plenty of teams to cheer.


If Parmalat changes it’s allegiance – if they take on new sponsorships - will you support those teams instead!?

Of course. Whomever we support, I will support! I am very passionate and also very loyal to my favourite Italians team only!
RICCARDO PIAGGI
RICCARDO PIAGGI