Meat and Livestock Australia managing director Richard Norton has announced the promotion of regional manager Michael Finucan into a new broader role as general manager for MLA’s International Business Unit.
Mr Finucan has most recently operated as MLA’s Korea region manager, but was appointed in December to manage a broader portfolio of international markets including China, Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
He joined MLA in 2007 in the international trade services area, spending four and half years as livestock export manager, strengthening trade relationships and developing trade activities and programs with key global customers.
In July 2012 he was appointed as regional manager of MLA’s Korea office. That role involves overseeing strategic marketing programs to promote Australian beef and lamb into the market.
His appointment this week as GM of the international business unit comes as part of a restructure of MLA’s international market operations, following extensive industry consultation.
“The restructure has received broad support and I am pleased to advise that Michael Finucan has been appointed to the role of general manager of international markets,” Mr Norton told staff yesterday.
MLA’s team of other international business managers based in the US (David Pietsch); EU (Michael Crowley), Japan (Andrew Cox); Middle East (David Beatty); and Southeast Asia (Andrew Simpson) will report to Mr Finucan. MLA live export manager Peter Dundon and trade access manager Andrew McCallum will also now sit under the International Business Unit, bringing together all MLA’s international activities within one coordinated unit.
In addition to these changes, a new Indonesian-based role is being recruited to focus on market access including technical trade barriers.
“Mr Finucan will oversee the ongoing work of the International Markets team, working within the new structure to drive the reputation and positioning of Australian beef and lamb overseas,” Richard Norton said.
The moves reflect a change in MLA’s approach in management of the Asian region – moving away from the management of individual markets and towards an ‘Asian Hub’ approach.
Mr Finucan will start his new role from March 1, relocating in coming months to an office based in Beijing.
MLA’s current regional offices will not change.
“The staff we have based permanently in these offices have in-market expertise and strong relationships with key stakeholders that is highly valued by the business,” Mr Norton said. “The recent changes will let us leverage these skills more broadly across the region.”