The Board of Lakeland Dairies has announced Colin Kelly as group chief executive officer (CEO) designate.

Kelly will take up his appointment in January 2023 succeeding group CEO Michael Hanley, who earlier this year announced that he will retire in December.

Hanley had been in the role for the past 16 years and had been with the cooperative for years.

New CEO at Lakeland

Colin Kelly will join Lakeland Dairies having worked at Ornua since 2011, where he has held a range of senior finance and general management positions.

Prior to his current role at Ornua, he served as head of strategy planning and risk management.

Before this he was president and also as chief financial officer (CFO) of Ornua Ingredients North America. Before joining Ornua, he was a senior auditor with Deloitte.

A native of Lusmagh, Co. Offaly, he is an accounting and finance graduate of University of Limerick (UL) and is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland.

Niall Matthews, chairman, Lakeland Dairies said: “Colin’s knowledge and experience of the Irish and international dairy industry will be of significant benefit to Lakeland Dairies, where he will lead the ongoing future progress, growth and success of our cooperative in the interests of our 3,200 farm families, our staff and our global customer base.”

Colin Kelly said: “I am privileged to join Lakeland Dairies in the position of CEO. I recognise the enormity of the role and the proud history of the organisation.

“I am excited by the challenge and look forward, in conjunction with the board, to leading the business to continued and sustained success in the years to come.

“I particularly look forward to working with the excellent leadership team, management, people and farm families of Lakeland Dairies and to continuing the great work that has brought the cooperative to its internationally recognised position as a dairy industry leader,” he added.

Lakeland Dairies

The farmer-owned co-op collects two billion litres of milk from 3,200 farm families across 16 counties on a cross border basis.

The cooperative makes a wide range of dairy food ingredients, foodservice and consumer products, which it exports to over 80 countries worldwide, in addition to comprehensive agri-business operations.