Holgate will officially step down from the role on September 29.
Blackmores chairman Stephen Chapman said, “It is with regret that we announce Christine’s departure from Blackmores as CEO and managing director. On behalf of our board, our staff and our shareholders, I would like to thank Christine for her outstanding leadership and excellent contribution to Blackmores’ success.”
The company's board has requested that director Marcus Blackmore, who is currently on sabbatical, step in as interim CEO before a new CEO is appointed. Blackmore, the son of the firm's founder, Maurice, was company chairman until earlier this year. Chapman confirmed that the company already has potential candidates in mind for the permanent CEO position.
Chapman, who has been acting chairman during Blackmore’s leave, will continue in the role while Blackmore takes on added responsibility as brand president.
Holgate said, “I am so appreciative of the opportunity Marcus gave me to lead Blackmores nine years ago, and I am proud of what we have achieved together.”
Blackmore credited Holgate for her part in the company’s success, especially in Asia: “We’ve continued our expansion into Asia and diversified our earnings through growth of our core segments and key acquisitions.”
The company’s business in Asia has been steady, especially in China, where it had a record 2016 thanks to sales driven by ‘daigou’ shoppers purchasing supplements from Australian stores to sell via e-commerce in China.
However, uncertainty surrounding Chinese e-commerce regulation has affected the practice. The company’s net profits fell by 42.8% year-on-year according to its most recent financial report: Blackmores Australia and New Zealand achieved sales of $264m for the first nine months of its financial year, down 26% from the previous corresponding period.