New Chief Executive for First Milk

UK - Farmer owned dairy business First Milk has appointed Mike Gallacher as its new chief executive.
calendar icon 16 March 2015
clock icon 2 minute read

He replaces Kate Allum and will start his new job on 18 March.

Mr Gallacher has spent most of his career with Mars where he held a series of senior leadership positions, most recently as UK Managing Director for Mars Petcare.

He led significant business turnarounds in Asia for Mars as well as working in regional leadership positions in both Asia Pacific and Europe. Prior to Mars, he was an Army Officer for eight years.

First Milk chairman Sir Jim Paice MP said: "Mike has all the attributes to put our business back where we want it to be.

“He has considerable leadership qualities, has turned around businesses in different geographies, and has experience in some of our key export markets.

“He demonstrated throughout the interview process that he has rapidly built high performing teams and organisations throughout his career and I look forward to working with him.

"On behalf of the Board, member and employees, I would like to thank Kate Allum for her drive and leadership over the last six years and wish her well for the future."

Mr Gallacher added: "Over the last few weeks I have been interviewed by the Board, met the executive team and visited a number of sites.

“While the dairy market is challenging at present, I am excited about leading the First Milk business.

“Over the coming weeks I look forward to meeting farmer members, employees, partners and customers as we work together to address those challenges with urgency and focus."

The National Farmers Union said that it is to seek urgent talks with Mr Gallacher.

The appointment has been welcomed for ensuring a swift change in management and minimising disruption for First Milk members.

However, the NFU has reinforced the importance that action is now taken to save farmers from the dire situation they have been forced into.

NFU dairy board chairman Rob Harrison said: “The NFU is pleased that First Milk has moved quickly to find a replacement Chief Executive and we are calling for an urgent meeting with Mike Gallacher to discuss the situation.

“The priority must now be to move the business forward and identify measures that can reverse the devastatingly low milk prices that farmers are being forced into accepting and to create a sustainable business.

“First Milk members are fed up of rumour about the state of First Milk. We understand that the new CEO will face a difficult time ahead, and with a new page being opened now is the time to be transparent and honest with First Milk members going forwards.

“We will continue to communicate with First Milk and to support NFU members through this period of change.”

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