SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA — GrainCorp’s  chief operation officer (COO) of GrainCorp Malt, Darren Smith will be appointed president of GrainCorp Malt, following Greg Friberg’s decision to retire at the end of the year. Friberg is leaving GrainCorp after 37 years in agribusiness and some 21 years in the malting industry.

“The consistent strong performance of the Malt business unit over recent years is testament to Greg and the passionate focus on customers he has applies,” said Mark Palmquist, GrainCorp managing director and chief executive officer. “Under Greg’s leadership GrainCorp Malt has established an excellent position and reputation with brewers and distillers. We have built a strong team and have had a sound succession plan in place for some time. It is pleasing to fill such an important role with an outstanding internal candidate. Darren has an extensive background in the malting industry, positive relationships with our customers and a thorough understanding of their needs.”

Smith’s appointment as president of GrainCorp Malt is effective Jan. 1, 2019. He will report to Palmquist and join GrainCorp’s executive leadership team. Friberg will remain as an adviser through March 31, 2019.

Smith began his role as GrainCorp Malt’s COO on May 5, 2014. He has experience with the brewing and malting industries in both operations and sales along with consulting on various projects including malt trans-load and malt product warehouse design.

Smith’s previous work experience includes managing partner with RMI Analytics, provider of information to the barley/malt/beer supply chain, Labatt, Canada Malting Company, and Great Western Malting.