Tim Rycroft has been appointed as the new chief executive of the AHDB.
Mr Rycroft, who is chief operating officer at the Food and Drink Federation (FDF), will start at the levy board on 31 August, and will replace Jane King.
During his time at the FDF, Mr Rycroft has been responsible for strategy and corporate affairs, as well as overseeing the federation’s policy on diet and health, and competitiveness. He is also a former government special adviser.
AHDB chairman Nicholas Saphir said: “The board is delighted to welcome Tim as the new CEO of AHDB.
“His experience, both in his previous commercial and FDF roles as well as his knowledge of the industry, makes him ideally equipped to lead the significant change that we have started to introduce to the organisation.
“Tim will spearhead the ongoing programme when he joins us full time, but in the meantime, Tim, Ken Boyns and I are making sure that the work in progress is not held up while waiting for Tim to officially take up his new role.”
Mr Rycroft said: “It’s tremendously exciting to be asked to lead AHDB at this critical moment in its history.
“Nicholas Saphir and the team have set out a bold vision for change. Now this must be swiftly delivered so we can continue to play our vital role as a source of competitive advantage, underpinning a world class food and farming industry.”
The interim AHDB CEO will be Ken Boyns, who is AHDB chief finance and operations officer.
Potato growers returned a resounding “no” vote in an AHDB ballot, launched in mid-February to ascertain whether they wanted to continue with the statutory levy.
Results published on Monday 22 March revealed that of the 1,196 votes cast, 66% were in favour of scrapping the levy, compared with 34% who wanted to retain it.
A similar exercise in the horticulture sector found that 61% of growers were opposed to the levy, compared with 39% who wanted to keep it.