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Costa share price craters 12% as CEO walks

A woman with a sad face looks to be receiving bad news on her phone as she holds it in her hands and looks down at it.

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It has been a disappointing start to the week for the Costa Group Holdings Ltd (ASX: CGC) share price.

In morning trade, the horticulture company’s shares are down a sizeable 12% to $2.24.

Why is the Costa share price being sold off?

While the market is a sea of red on Monday, the Costa share price is falling more than most following the release of a shock announcement.

According to the release, the company has revealed that its CEO and managing director, Sean Hallahan, will step down with immediate effect after just 18 months in the role.

Costa has been quick to find an interim replacement. It has appointed Harry Debney as its interim CEO from today. Debney is currently a non-executive director and former CEO of Costa.

Hallahan will support with the transition for a short handover period that is anticipated to conclude in mid-October.

What’s going on?

While no real reason was given for Hallahan’s sudden exit, it appears to be an amicable one.

Costa’s chair, Neil Chatfield, said:

During Sean’s 5 years with the organisation including as Chief Operating Officer and since March 2021 as CEO and Managing Director, he has played a pivotal role in Costa’s development and growth.

We understand that the last 2 years, particularly in Victoria, have taken a large toll on the business and personal lives of individuals. Under Sean’s leadership Costa has performed extremely well during a challenging period with global Covid-19 disruptions and extreme weather conditions being successfully navigated and is in a strong financial position. The Board and all the Costa Team thank Sean for his contribution to the company and wish him well for the future.

Hallahan added:

I am proud to leave Costa in a strong position financially and operationally. Reaching my decision has been a process and there are several things that have gone into my decision. It has been an intense couple of years in agriculture made even more challenging with the overlay of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been a privilege to lead Costa and to have been part of an outstanding team of people for five years. I wish Costa and its employees all the best for the future.

Read More: Costa share price craters 12% as CEO walks

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