Lakeland Dairies CEO Michael Hanley has announced his intention to retire in December of this year, having held the position from 2006.

The CEO said that the co-op is in “excellent shape” for further growth and that he will continue in his role to steer the business over the coming year.

The chairman of Lakeland Dairies Niall Matthews stated that the business would “advance the process to identify a successor in the months ahead” after thanking Hanley for his work.

“It’s an honour and privilege for me to lead this wonderful co-operative business, together with the board of directors, my management team, and all of the great people in Lakeland Dairies, making an essential contribution to farm families and the dairy industry in the northern half of the island of Ireland,” Hanley said on announcing his decision.

“I look forward to driving further progress throughout the current year,” he said.

Hanley’s departure will mark the end to his 36 years with the co-op.

Record financials

The CEO explained that he made the decision at the “right time” after the co-operative saw a record financial performance last year.

“Personally, it’s the right time for me to make this decision, following on from the record annual financial results reported for 2021.

“The Lakeland business is in excellent shape to pursue further growth and development, with the financial strength, the necessary resources and a highly experienced leadership team in place to continue the great progress that has been achieved collectively by all of us to date.

“I’ve decided to step down in December and I’ll look forward to much more time with family and friends in due course.

“I say a heartfelt thank-you to everyone associated with Lakeland Dairies for the opportunities presented to me throughout my career and during which I am proud to have served as CEO of such an excellent co-operative organisation,” he said.