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UK: AHDB CEO to step down

After almost six years as CEO at the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), Jane King has decided that the next 12 months will be her last in the role.

Now that the new five-year strategy and business plans are nearly complete and will be shortly out for consultation and the change programme underway, Jane feels that it is a good time to begin to hand the leadership baton over to someone fresh to deliver the next phase of AHDB’s development.

She will be stepping down no later than the end of September 2021 or before, if a successor can be found sooner. In the meantime, Jane will work closely with the chair, Nicholas Saphir, the Board and the leadership team to continue to reform AHDB in line with the commitments we have made to improve levy-payer engagement and value for money.  

Jane’s focus will continue to be on leading the strategic change programme. This includes consulting with industry on the new strategy, developing the business plans and new programmes, progressing action on our response to the request for views and continuing to deliver real positive impact for industry.

Recruitment of a new CEO will begin immediately and there will be a handover period before Jane leaves to ensure a smooth transition.

Jane is keen to have a break with her family next year before continuing to support the industry in other ways in the future. 

Jane said: “It has been a great privilege to lead an incredible team at AHDB and to work with inspirational farmers, growers and partners to deliver our programmes and services. The commitment and dedication of AHDB colleagues has been amazing."  

“It’s always difficult to craft a farewell message, but I have the comfort of knowing that together we have achieved a good deal and AHDB will go from strength to strength under fresh leadership."

“The new five-year strategy will see AHDB playing a crucial role in helping to grow British agriculture and horticulture at a time of great change and opportunity."

“I would like to thank all those colleagues, stakeholders, partners, board members and levy-payers who have shown me so much support and encouragement over the last five and a half years.  You’ve been awesome!”

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