Kerry Co-operative CEO Thomas Hunter McGowan is to depart the business early next year.

Hunter McGowan advised the co-op’s board of directors this week that he intends to step down from his position on 25 February 2023.

He joined co-op in October 2017 as company secretary and took on the role of chief executive officer in 2019.

Commenting on his exit from the business, Hunter McGowan said that is has been a privilege to lead the co-op for over five years, working with some of the best farmers in Ireland.

Independent office

He said he oversaw the establishment of a fully functioning independent office for Kerry Co-op, which provided payroll, payments, shares administration and electoral systems for the co-op.

He “successfully navigated" a reform of the structure of the organisation, putting a share redemption scheme in place and "dealing successfully with a patronage appeal and arbitration on milk,” he added.

Co-op chair Denis Carroll said: “Thomas has made a huge contribution to the co-op and displayed total commitment to the post. I wish him every success in the future.”

He previously held the role of CEO of InterTrade Ireland and was managing director of Swansea Cork Ferries Ltd.