It was a great day for Fonterra at this year’s virtual 2020 NZ Cheese Awards.
Swales, the co-op's managing director for Australia since 2013, will report directly to Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings.
Spierings says Swales was the natural choice to lead Oceania, which is comprised of Fonterra's Australian business and its New Zealand consumer businesses, including Tip Top.
"Judith has a great understanding of consumers and their relationship to brands and has proven her ability to build effective partnerships in the highly competitive supermarket sector in Australia. By having Judith lead Oceania we are ensuring the growth of our brands on both sides of the Tasman.
"Judith also has extensive experience in business transformation and has led the reshaping of our Australian operations. She will continue to progress our detailed plan to lift our performance and profitability in Australia."
Swales joined Fonterra following leadership roles with Heinz Australasia and Goodyear Dunlop Australia
Fonterra Brands NZ will continue to run as a standalone business in New Zealand, under the managing director Jonathan Box, who will report to Swales. Fonterra is working through a process to appoint a permanent person to this role.
Swales will remain based in Melbourne, and her appointment takes effect November 1.