One of WA’s most prominent pastoral companies has lost its chief executive after just 13 months in the role. Yeeda Pastoral Company this week announced former chief Anthony Wilkes had resigned for “personal reasons.” Mr Wilkes joined in January 2020 to replace well known pastoralist Jack Burton, who a few months earlier quit his role as managing director and chief executive at the business he help create and build over two decades. Following Mr Wilkes’ departure, Yeeda’s chief operating officer David Hanson has become interim chief executive. Laurence Macri continues to manage Yeeda’s Kimberley Meat Company abattoir near Broome, while Tim Munroe has been promoted to group commercial finance manager. Mr Wilkes said due to needs of his young family (in Perth), he was unable to dedicate the time needed in the Kimberley. Yeeda co-founder and chairman Mervyn Key said Yeeda was indebted to Mr Wilkes for the stability and good governance he brought to and instilled in the company after taking over from the previous management. Among other leadership changes, Yeeda appointed Spektrum Agribusiness founder Dr Steve Petty as an adviser and consultant to help the company with herd and rangelands management, while experienced commercial agribusiness expert James Campbell was appointed to the board of directors, effective April 1. Yeeda has six cattle stations spanning 1.2 million hectares across the Kimberley, as well as the Kimberley Meat Company. KMC processed approximately 40,000 head of cattle in 2020 and plans to process a similar number this year, but will reopen after scheduled maintenance and upgrades in April, slightly later than normal, because the good wet season is causing delays in mustering. Yeeda said the pressure on meat processors this year because of record-high cattle prices and continued limited supply was, to some extent, offset by Yeeda having its own herd of more than 72,000 Brahman and Droughtmaster cattle in the Kimberley. Five months ago Mr Burton severed all ties with Yeeda by stepping off the board and selling shares worth $19 million to Twenty Two Dragons, a company owned by Hong Kong-based ADM Capital.