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New Zealand: New CEO announced for Plant & Food Research

Plant & Food Research announces the appointment of David Hughes as its new Chief Executive Officer.

David is currently Group General Manager Commercial at Plant & Food Research and he will take up the new role in the New Year.

Plant & Food Research’s current CEO, Peter Landon-Lane announced in August this year that he intended to step down from the role after nine years, having led the Institute since it was formed in 2008.

Announcing the appointment on behalf of the Board, Plant & Food Research Chairman Michael Ahie said he was delighted to welcome Mr Hughes to the role.

“David has been an outstanding member of the Plant & Food Research executive team since 2009. He has led a number of exciting new initiatives for our Institute, including the expansion of our international business in Australia, the USA and Asia, the establishment of a very successful Aid & Development unit and the continued growth in returns to New Zealand through global sales and commercialisation of IP developed in our labs and crop development centres nationwide.”

Mr Ahie said the Plant & Food Research Board felt the Institute is well placed to continue its strong scientific and commercial performance and that they had been very pleased with the calibre of applicants for the role.

“We’re delighted to appoint an internal candidate whose qualities and vision for the business won through. We cast a wide net both in New Zealand and offshore and the quality of candidates was excellent. David has an excellent combination of experience, skills and leadership ability to contribute to the future success of Plant & Food Research.

“David’s appointment comes at a time when Plant & Food Research is in a very good state financially, operationally and strategically. We have strong leadership capability across the company, a hugely passionate and capable science staff and an equally committed and able team in our commercial and support operations. I am confident that we will continue to deliver high impact science and innovation to clients and for our wider stakeholders that meets and exceeds their needs and expectations.”

David has 30 years international experience with the food industry in New Zealand and globally. His roles have included business development, innovation management, sales and marketing, and technical support.

David joined Plant & Food Research in 2009 as Group General Manager Commercial, with responsibilities for the company’s marketing, business development and IP commercialisation functions.

Prior to joining Plant & Food Research David worked extensively in the Dairy Industry during a career with the New Zealand Dairy Board and Fonterra, including senior roles in New Zealand, the Middle East, Japan, USA and Australia.

David is currently a director of KiwiNet (a joint venture between the majority of New Zealand’s universities and Crown Research Institutes aimed at lifting commercialising of publically funded research), a director of BioLumic (a start-up company commercialising a technology out of Massey University), and the Chair of the Board of BPN Limited (a IP holding and commercialisation company).

David graduated with a Bachelor of Technology from Massey University and also holds a Graduate Diploma in Applied Statistics.

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