“The A2 Milk Co is going through a period of continued strong growth in dynamic markets and David’s skillset and comprehensive strategic and operational experience will serve the company well,” chair David Hearn said.
Bortolussi will be based in Sydney, and joins A2 Milk from HanesBrands, where he is group president of international innerwear.
He started at Pacific Brands in 2009 as chief financial and operating officer and was promoted to chief executive in 2014.
Pacific Brands was bought by HanesBrands in 2016, and Borolussi’s role was expanded to cover Australasia and then its international innerwear operations outside of the Americas.
The company said Bortolussi had extensive exposure to Asian sourcing markets – particularly China where the milk market firm has derived most of its growth – including various brand distribution partnerships in the region.
Prior to HanesBrands, he was chief strategy officer responsible for corporate strategy, mergers and acquisitions, business development and performance improvement at Foster’s Group. A2 Milk said he was instrumental in leading the process which ultimately led to the operational separation and demerger of the domestic beer and global wine businesses, generating significant shareholder value.
Bortolussi has also held senior consulting roles at McKinsey & Co and PwC.
“As managing director and CEO, David will assume leadership of the company’s executive leadership team, which has a strong and diverse skill set and deep experience of the business across all key markets in which the company operates,” said Hearn, who thanked Babidge for stepping back into the business.
Babidge re-took the helm in December last year after Jayne Hrdlicka stepped down from the role in a surprise exit. He had previously held the role from 2010 to mid-2018.
On top of his annual salary, Bortolussi will be entitled to participate in the company’s short term incentive plan.
For the 2020/21 financial year, Bortolussi may receive an incentive payment of up to 120% of his total fixed remuneration – A$2.m – based on the achievement of performance objectives to be determined by the board.
On an annual basis he will be invited to take up performance rights under the company’s long term incentive plan.
For the 2020/21 financial year, he will be offered performance rights equivalent to 150% of his total fixed remuneration – A$2.63m – with vesting assessed over a three-year period based on performance hurdles and conditions to be determined by the board.
A2 Milk shares last traded at $20.73 and are up 30% over the past 12 months. That values the company at $15.34 billion.