In the last month of 2021, the board of directors of Mengniu, a Chinese dairy giant, carried out the strongest restructuring in recent years.
Late last night, Mengniu Dairy announced that the board of directors had made a series of changes in directors, authorized representatives and the composition of the Committee of the board of directors, which were implemented from today: six directors resigned and six new members were also welcomed.
Xiaoshidai also noted that from today on, Niu Gensheng resigned as a non-executive director and a member of the strategy and Development Committee of Mengniu because he “retired and plans to devote more time to charity work”. This also means that the legendary founder of Mengniu officially resigned his last post in the company.
Niu Gensheng, founder of Mengniu (data picture)
“Diversity of members”
Mengniu Dairy announced in the announcement that from December 1, 2021:
(1) Meng FanJie resigned as the executive director of the company due to job transfer;
(2) Niu Gensheng resigned as a non-executive director and a member of the company’s strategy and Development Committee due to his retirement and plans to devote more time to charity work;
(3) Jiao shuge has resigned as an independent non-executive director of the company and a member of the Remuneration Committee of the company;
(4) Julian Juul wolhardt has resigned as the company’s independent non-executive director, chairman of the Remuneration Committee, member of the company’s audit committee and member of the company’s nomination committee;
(5) Zhang Xiaoya has resigned as an independent non-executive director, a member of the audit committee and a member of the Remuneration Committee of the company;
(6) Qiu Jiaci resigned as an independent non-executive director, chairman of the audit committee and a member of the company’s sustainable development committee because he wanted to focus on other work affairs.
Many of the members on this list are very senior. Mengniu said in the announcement that Jiao shuge, Julian Juul wolhardt and Zhang Xiaoya “have served as independent non-executive directors of the company for more than 9 years and decided to resign based on the company’s good corporate governance”.
“The board of directors would like to thank Mr. Meng, Mr. Niu, Mr. Jiao, Mr. wolhardt, Mr. Zhang Xiaoya and Mr. Qiu for their valuable contributions to the company during their respective positions as directors and committees of the board of directors.” Mengniu said that the above-mentioned persons have confirmed that they have no differences of opinion with the board of directors, Nor is there any matter requiring the shareholders of the company or the stock exchange of Hong Kong Limited to register their resignation.
At the same time, Mengniu also announced a series of board appointments. The board of directors of the company announced in the announcement that from December 1, 2021:
(1) Appoint Wang Yan as the executive director of the company and a member of the Sustainable Development Committee;
(2) Appoint Zhang Ping as the executive director of the company and a member of the Sustainable Development Committee;
(3) Appoint Wang Xi as a non-executive director and a member of the strategy and Development Committee of the company;
(4) Appoint Yip Lai Tak as an independent non-executive director, a member of the audit committee, a member of the nomination committee and a member of the Remuneration Committee of the company;
(5) Appoint Li Hengjian as an independent non-executive director, chairman of the audit committee, member of the nomination committee, member of the Remuneration Committee and member of the Sustainable Development Committee of the company;
(6) Appoint Ge Jun as an independent non-executive director, chairman of the Remuneration Committee, member of the audit committee, member of the nomination committee and member of the strategy and Development Committee of the company.
Xiaoshidai noticed that Wang Yan and Zhang Ping, who have newly become executive directors of Mengniu, are already vice presidents of Mengniu. Among them, Wang Yan, 43, has successively served as the general manager of the talent development department of the human resources department of COFCO group and the deputy director of the human resources department. Zhang Ping, 56, is also the chief financial officer of Mengniu.
Mengniu said in the announcement that the addition of new directors will further enhance the diversity of board members, reflecting COFCO’s full trust and support for the management.
In this reorganization, the positions of Chen Lang, chairman of the board of directors, and Lu Minfang, President of Mengniu, in the board of directors have not changed.
Niu Gensheng and Mengniu
As the founder of Mengniu, Niu Gensheng has long been regarded as the soul of this Inner Mongolia dairy company.
Data show that Niu Gensheng was born in Hohhot in January 1958. In 1983, Niu Gensheng entered the breeding cattle breeding plant in Inner Mongolia. From the grass-roots level, he served as the deputy director of Yili in 1992.
In 1999, Niu Gensheng, who had left Yili, founded Mengniu and made Mengniu the champion of China’s dairy industry in just eight years. During this period, Mengniu advertised that “one kilogram of milk a day will strengthen the Chinese people”. Under the leadership of Niu Gensheng, the company has become the top two dairy companies in China by 2005.
Niu Gensheng, founder of Mengniu (information picture)
“The earliest (Mengniu) registration was 1 million, which was made up of 1 million by several of our senior executives.” Niu Gensheng later recalled the history of founding Mengniu and said: “we must build it according to the century old store. At that time, our slogan was’ century old Mengniu, strengthen milk and prosper agriculture ‘.”
In 2004, the scale of Mengniu reached 7 billion yuan. In the same year, the company went to Hong Kong for listing. In 2005, Niu Gensheng, as chairman of the board, resigned as president. Mengniu then recruited president from all over the world. In the same year, Niu Gensheng also established the “old cow fund” and said to donate all his shares with a market value of 1.5 billion yuan. Niu Gensheng later described his decision as “romantic”.
In 2008, with the occurrence of liability accidents in the dairy industry, Niu Gensheng also faced the most important challenge since the founding of Mengniu. “If this matter is not handled well, I, the chairman of the board, will take the blame and resign.” at that time, Niu Gensheng said in a speech to Mengniu employees: “in order to bear the responsibility, we are prepared at all costs.”
In 2009, COFCO announced to invest HK $6.1 billion with Hopu fund to acquire 20% equity of Mengniu, becoming the largest shareholder of “China Mengniu”. In July 2011, COFCO increased its holdings at a cost of HK $3.6 billion. All of its increased 142 million shares came from the company’s shareholders Jinniu, Yinniu and Niu Gensheng’s Hengxin trust fund, which has just stepped down as chairman of the board of directors. In June of that year, Ning Gaoning, then chairman of COFCO group, succeeded Niu Gensheng as chairman of Mengniu’s board of directors. The latter said that he “plans to devote most of his time to charity work”.
Nevertheless, before today, Niu Gensheng still held a position in the board of directors of Mengniu and was a non-executive director together with Chen Lang, chairman of the board of directors of Mengniu (Note: in the same period, only Lu Minfang and Meng FanJie were executive directors of Mengniu).
Today, the snack generation read Mengniu Dairy’s 2020 annual report and learned that Niu Gensheng attended two of the six Mengniu board meetings last year, and he also attended the annual general meeting of shareholders. The total salary he received in Mengniu Dairy industry was 150000 yuan last year.
The annual report also shows that the main responsibilities of Mengniu strategy and Development Committee, of which Niu Gensheng is a member, are to draft Mengniu’s long-term development strategy and major investment or financing plan, put forward major capital investment suggestions on business projects, and study and make suggestions on important matters affecting the development of the company.
New “Mengniu speed”
In fact, after years of development, the dairy giant has started the layout of the next stage. Xiaoshidai introduced that at the end of December last year, Mengniu first put forward the strategic plan of “creating a new Mengniu” for the next five years.
“In the past 21 years, we have created nearly 80 billion Mengniu. Next, we will create a new Mengniu system in five years.” Lu Minfang, President of Mengniu, once said at the 2020 performance meeting that we have made a clear five-year strategic plan for each business segment.
So, under the plan of “creating a new Mengniu in five years”, does the dairy giant aim to double its revenue and market value by 2025?
In this regard, Lu Minfang told xiaoshidai at the end of last year: “I hope you will pay more attention not to how many billions you make, not to how much profits change. Is this important? It is important, but how to do it is more important.” he said that Mengniu’s five-year new plan focuses more on the development concept and future growth model.
According to his introduction, in order to ensure long-term development power, Mengniu’s new five-year plan should focus on internationalization, consumer experience and digital intelligence transformation.
First, in terms of internationalization, Lu Minfang said that one of the goals is that Mengniu products should meet EU standards within five years. As for the international market layout, he said that Mengniu will not enter the international market too far away in the short term, but will do a good job in the existing overseas market first.
According to the company’s 2020 sustainable development report, Mengniu’s products have entered the markets of Singapore, Mongolia, Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Canada and more than 10 countries and regions. At the same time, Mengniu also has one production base in Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia.
Secondly, in terms of consumer experience, Lu Minfang mentioned that Mengniu should innovate faster, let consumers experience products faster and communicate with consumers in a better way.
According to the above sustainable development report, Mengniu has launched more than 50 new products in the past year, equivalent to an average of one new product per week. In addition to catering to health needs on the original product line, such as the introduction of Youyi C sugar reduction and sweet control series and a variety of sugar reduction ice cream products, Mengniu has also cut into the field of 0 sugar bubble water.
This year, Mengniu continues to make great efforts to innovate, and one of its landmark new products is undoubtedly its low-temperature milk joint venture with Coca Cola.
Xiaoshidai introduced that in September, keniu dairy products Co., Ltd., a joint venture between Coca Cola and Mengniu, announced the launch of the “fairlife” brand to enter the low-temperature milk market. It is understood that fresh Philharmonic products with “UF purification and ultrafiltration technology” mainly have higher protein content, higher calcium content, longer shelf life and zero lactose.
As xianfeile’s first overseas market outside North America, in China, the brand adopts the production mode of “Chinese high-quality milk source + global patented technology”. Its current production is in the charge of modern animal husbandry Bengbu ranch.
Finally, in terms of digital intelligence transformation, Lu Minfang said that Mengniu’s digital intelligence transformation will cover logistics, supply chain, manpower and finance. Through this transformation, Mengniu can be closer to consumers and improve the efficiency of the supply chain. To this end, the company also set up a digital project team, led by Lu Minfang.
“Let’s look forward to the portrait of Mengniu in the next five years. What will Mengniu look like by 2025? In addition to achieving our financial indicators, we also hope to become a consumer favorite Mengniu, a digital Mengniu, an international Mengniu and a Mengniu with strong cultural genes,” Lu Minfang said.