New boss for AHDB

A former NHS boss is to take over the top job at the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), it was announced this week.
Tom Taylor will be stepping into the AHDB’s chief executive position later this year, replacing Kevin Roberts who leaves to head up the National Farmers Union in April.

AHDB said Taylor, a qualified accountant and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management, has a wealth of senior management and corporate governance experience across both public and private sectors and is currently chief executive of the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust.

John Bridge, AHDB chairman, said: “The Board and I are delighted we have someone of Tom’s calibre joining us. We’re coming out of a period of massive change as we build a more efficient structure

to address our levy-payers’ needs - his leadership skills and management experience will be critical in successfully completing this process.

“Our industry faces the huge challenge of responding to climate change and greenhouse gas targets and also playing its part in feeding a growing world population while using fewer inputs and a finite land area. An efficient and effective AHDB has a critical role to play in helping the industry to meet those challenges and we believe Tom is the man to help us deliver this.”

Taylor said: “I’m really looking forward to joining the AHDB. It has a great reputation as a professional organisation with talented people and I want to build on that by providing strategic leadership and vision to take it forward. And, as John says, this is a very important time in history for UK food and agriculture. I love challenges and I believe the team at AHDB can make a significant contribution to the industry’s future.”

Paying tribute to the departing Roberts, Bridge added: “The board and I are very grateful for the tremendous job Kevin has done in setting up AHDB and bringing it to this point. We wish him well in his new role.”

Richard Lowe, a senior director at AHDB, has agreed to extend his notice period and be interim chief executive during the period until Tom takes up office, before leaving as planned.

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