Long-serving Fonterra senior executive Philip Turner is leaving the Auckland-based dairy cooperative to become New Zealand's new ambassador in South Korea.
Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced the appointment on Monday, although Mr Turner's departure as director of global stakeholder affairs had been known in the market for some months.
A Fonterra loyalist, Mr Turner's LinkedIn profile shows he held a string of senior positions at the cooperative from March 2007, starting as general manager for forecasting and strategy, based in Tokyo.
He then became chief operating officer for Fonterra China in Beijing in late 2008, managing director of Fonterra China from 2009 to 2012, a project manager for the cooperative's operating framework based in both New Zealand and Japan, director of business transformation for a year in 2013 and 2014, director of dairy development from September 2014 to September 2015, and taking up the global stakeholder affairs role in October 2015.
Prior to joining Fonterra, Mr Turner held a number of roles in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, including postings to the New Zealand embassies in Tokyo and Brussels.
"Since the entry into force of our Free Trade Agreement with Korea in 2015, trade between our two countries has continued to flourish," said Mr Peters in a statement. "There is scope for both sides to grow these benefits."
Mr Turner's role will also involve him in the delicate geo-political machinations concerning North Korea's nuclear programme and ongoing diplomatic isolation from most of the rest of the world.
"We work closely with the Republic of Korea on North Korean nuclear issues, and New Zealand continues to support a diplomatic and peaceful resolution to the situation on the Korean Peninsula," Mr Peters said.