Bord Bia has announced that Jim O’Toole has been appointed as its new CEO, as the permanent replacement for Tara McCarthy.
O’Toole was appointed by the board of Bord Bia following an open recruitment process, and is scheduled to formally take up the position on November 1.
O’Toole is currently CEO of Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), Ireland’s seafood development agency, and has experience in global food marketing and sustainability development, having previously held senior positions with Bord Bia for some 20 years.
He holds a Master’s Degree in Agricultural Science from University College Dublin (UCD) and has completed programmes at Harvard Business School, Ashridge Business School, Cranfield University and UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School.
He is also a board member of the Irish National Accreditation Board (INAB).
Announcing the appointment today (Tuesday, August 2), Bord Bia chairperson Dan MacSweeney said: “We welcome Jim to Bord Bia and the knowledge, experience and insight he brings to the role and to the organisation.
“His considerable experience in the agri-food sector, depth of international experience and strong corporate, strategic and operational expertise makes him an ideal leader to deliver strategic transformation,” MacSweeney added.
O’Toole will take over from Michael Murphy, who has been serving as interim CEO since April. Murphy will remain in that position until the new CEO takes the reins.
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue commented: “I have worked closely with Jim in his current role as CEO of BIM, and he will be an excellent CEO for Bord Bia.”
Minister McConalogue also thanked Michael Murphy for taking temporary charge of food promotion agency as interim CEO.
Minister of State for new market development Martin Heydon said: “I look forward to working closely with Jim and the team in Bord Bia to the benefit of our farmers and growers, the food and drink industry, and Ireland’s overall economy.”
Minister of State for land use and biodiversity Pippa Hackett also welcomed the appointment, saying: “I look forward to working with Jim to build on the work Bord Bia is undertaking in developing markets for organic produce.”
O’Toole himself said of his appointment: “I am deeply honoured to be appointed as Bord Bia’s CEO and I look forward to working with the board and the talented team in Bord Bia to implement the recently published strategy.
He added: “I sincerely wish my BIM colleagues the best for the future and look forward to continuing the close collaboration between the two agencies.”
It is anticipated that interim CEO Michael Murphy will return to his position as director of organisation and industry talent when O’Toole takes over.