Lakeland Dairies has appointed Colin Kelly as its group CEO designate.

Kelly is currently the managing director for trading and member relations at Ornua and has been with the co-operative since 2011.

The new Lakeland Dairies chief will start his role in January 2023, succeeding Michael Hanley, who announced he will retire in December earlier this year.

He said he is looking forward to “continuing the great work that has brought [Lakeland] to its internationally recognised position as a dairy industry leader”.

‘Knowledge and experience’

Prior to his current role at Ornua, Kelly, an Offaly native, served as head of strategy planning and risk management at the organisation. Before this, he was president and also as chief financial officer of Ornua Ingredients North America.

Before joining Ornua, the new Lakeland Dairies CEO was a senior auditor with Deloitte. He is an accounting and finance graduate of University of Limerick and is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland.

Lakeland Dairies chair Niall Matthews 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 co-operative in the interests of our 3,200 farm families, our staff and our global customer base.”