Former Milk Link CEO Neil Kennedy is stepping down from his role as senior vice president for milk and member services at Arla, just four months after the two dairy giants merged.

In a statement issued this morning, Arla said Kennedy was leaving “to pursue interests outside of the business” with effect from 31 March this year.

Kennedy had made an “enormous” contribution to the success of the merger between Arla and Milk Link, added Arla Foods CEO Peter Lauritzen. “While I fully understand his reason for stepping down, I am disappointed that he will not be part of the business going forward.”

Kennedy said his reason for leaving was purely a personal one. “Having been heavily involved in the merger process, I now feel that the time is right to take on a new challenge and pursue new opportunities outside of Arla.”

Kennedy’s role will come under the remit of Ash Amirahmadi, Arla’s vice president for marketing, following Kennedy’s departure.