Foodstuffs has announced that its former executive Baden Ngan Kee has passed away after a battle with lung cancer.
Ngan Kee has held roles including general manager merchandise for Foodstuffs North Island, General Manager Sales and Export at Fonterra, and chief executive at the Mud House wine group. Foodstuffs North Island chief executive Chris Quin says his career covered “virtually every key category” within FMCG.
“Baden had a remarkable career, working across a number of cherished New Zealand brands, but we’d like to think his time here at Foodies was where he brought all that expertise and passion to bear. We will miss his ability to challenge the status quo with good humour, insight, decisiveness and energy – and our hearts go out to his beloved family; Kath and children Ruby, Tobey and Eddie.”
“When Baden moved to Foodies, he was charged with steering the Merchandise team to deliver the products customers need and want in our stores, untapping innovative foods and groceries and exploring new ways to deliver them. He hadn’t been with us that long when he received a shock diagnosis of lung cancer – which as a non-smoker, he fought with dignity and courage.”
Ngan Kee, diagnosed in 2016, was outspokenabout his self-funded treatment journey, igniting a complex conversation about funding for cancer drugs. Quin says Ngan Kee’s struggle was one of the issues which kick-started the Foodies Foundation, set up to support Foodstuffs North Island’s 22,000 team members in times of need.
Another former colleague, Liquorland chief executive Brendon Lawry, says Ngan Kee never shied away from “the tough stuff” at work.
“He really challenged you and supported you – you honestly believed you could do anything when you had his backing. It sounds cheesy in this day and age – but he absolutely loved this crazy FMCG and retail business and managed to get all of his team on board with his excitement and vision for how it makes a difference to millions of people every week.”