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Chairman of the Board of Paradise Company Limited, Anthony Smaré, has announced the appointment of experienced Papua New Guinean business leader Michael Penrose as the new CEO of the Paradise Group of Companies.
“After an extensive, objective and diligent international CEO search process, I am pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Michael Penrose as Group CEO for Paradise Company Limited. He was selected on merit as the best candidate by the board and the HR search firm that was used. Michael becomes the first Papua New Guinean CEO of the 90 year old company, PNG’s oldest food manufacturing business.“
Mr Penrose will commence as CEO on 3 January 2022, taking over from interim CEO, Mr Ben Wong who will revert to his substantive role as Chief Financial Officer.
Paradise Company Group includes operations of Paradise Foods Limited with its well known brands such as Em Nau Biscuits and Gold Nuggets snacks, the operations of Laga Industries with its Gala ice-cream products and the Queen Emma Chocolate Company. It has over 1300 employees, and one manufacturing plant in Port Moresby and two in Lae, and sales presence in every province in PNG.
Mr Penrose is an experienced CEO in the FMCG sector, with over 28 years of experience in the FMCG sector in PNG, Fiji and New Zealand. Mr Penrose was previously the General Manager of British American Tobacco (BAT) in PNG for 5 years and prior to that was GM of BAT Fiji for 3 years.
Mr Smaré said “Michael’s key focus will be to continue to grow and expand the business through innovative strategies to build on Paradise’s core strengths, strong brands, development of Paradise’s national staff and leveraging synergies to develop capability and improve operating efficiencies to support growth. It will include continuing the strong sales growth of Paradise’s products as well as overseeing the completion of Paradise’s construction of its new National Distribution Center and the expansion of its production facilities in Lae.”
Mr Smare also stated: “I thank Ben Wong for his leadership and sterling efforts as interim CEO from end of August to end of December. Due to the Covid – Delta surge, it was a very challenging period and Ben did very well as interim CEO to keep the Group focused on its operational targets to end the year as strongly as possible. I also thank the executive leadership team for their support to Ben in this period and for their collective leadership in general. I also thank the entire Paradise/Laga family for their efforts during this period to ensure that the Group performed as strong as it could, and remained operational, given the challenges of the Covid – Delta surge. “