Chief executive officer (CEO) of Tirlán Jim Bergin has announced his retirement.

Seán Molloy, currently chief ingredients and agribusiness officer and a director of Tirlán, has been announced as Bergin's successor.

The board of Tirlán announced that Bergin, who first joined the company 40 years ago, will retire from his position as CEO on 31 July 2024 and Molloy will assume the role of CEO on 1 August 2024.

In a statement released this Friday 19 January, Tirlán said the announcement follows a comprehensive recruitment process, which was initiated when Bergin informed the board in June 2023 of his intention to retire from his position as CEO and to step down from the board in 2024.

The process was led by Tirlán’s nominations and governance committee, with the independent guidance of a global executive search firm.

‘Wonderful adventure’

On his retirement, Bergin said his 40-year career has been “a wonderful corporate adventure”.

“It has been a unique privilege to play a leadership role in what has been my local co-op for 40 years.

“The close engagement of our farmer shareholders and customers with our workforce brings a unique level of accountability and dialogue, which I enjoyed greatly.

“Having commenced my career in a co-op, transitioned to a plc for 34 years and progressed to a co-op again in 2021, has been a wonderful corporate adventure, while the organisation created €2bn of additional value for our farm families.

Great constant

“The greatest constant has been the wonderful people I’ve met and the lifelong friends I have made.

“I would like to wish my colleague Seán every success as he takes the helm later in 2024 and I look forward to working with him on the transition over the coming months,” he said.

Molloy, from a farming background in Co Offaly, said he was honoured and delighted to be appointed as CEO designate.

“I look forward to leading our superb team and I am grateful to the board for placing its trust in me. I extend particular appreciation to Jim Bergin for his mentorship and support over the past 18 years.

“As we navigate the opportunities and challenges ahead in partnership with my 2,300 colleagues, I will focus on what is important to our farm families and customers as we lead an ambitious business into the future,” he said.

Farming roots

Chair of Tirlán John Murphy paid tribute to Bergin for his contribution to the co-op and the broader Irish agricultural sector.

Murphy said Bergin “remained true to his farming roots”.

“On behalf of the board, our farm families and the 2,300 employees of Tirlán, I wish to express our deep gratitude to Jim for his huge contribution to our organisation over the course of his 40-year career.

“He can be particularly proud of his success in establishing Tirlán as an independent 100% farmer-owned co-op, culminating in the €307m buyout of the Glanbia Ireland business.

“Highly respected for his authentic leadership style and for his advocacy on behalf of Irish farmers, Jim always remained true to his farming roots and relished his engagement with our 5,000 farm families.

“In recent years he has successfully overseen the investment of €600m by our organisation to expand milk processing capacity, which facilitated significant growth in milk output at farm level following the abolition of EU milk quotas in 2015.

“This now results in annual milk and grain payments from Tirlán of €2bn, which, based on an analysis by EY, supports 19,000 jobs in the rural economy,” he said.


Murphy added that the board had a number of excellent candidates to choose from and he was delighted that an internal candidate emerged from the process.

“Seán has a tremendous track record of delivery within the organisation. He played a central role in the transformation of the business, culminating in the formation of Tirlán.

“Seán has led award-winning innovation projects and built strategic relationships with leading international customers.

“An excellent communicator, he is highly respected by his colleagues and is renowned for his deep knowledge of the agricultural sector,” he said.