first milk tanker

First Milk’s new CEO Mike Gallacher has made three new appointments to the dairy co-operative’s senior leadership team in a bid to turn around its flagging fortunes.

Kenny Bain – who has held senior roles senior roles with Unilever, Mars and most recently with Ryvita – takes up the role of operations director with immediate effect, and will be responsible for all of First Milk’s creameries and processing sites, its distribution network and supply chain partnerships.

He replaces senior executive director Sue Wilson, who will take on leadership of “key turnaround projects” ahead of her departure from the business in the summer, said First Milk.

Bain’s focus will be on driving greater efficiency, quality and service for First Milk’s customers with the clear objective of improving the returns to be passed on to its members, added Gallacher.

First Milk has also appointed Maureen Ross as Group HR director, who would bring “highly effective transformational change management skills” to the business and replaces Sarah Freeman, who left the processor in January.

Meanwhile, Paul Miley has taken the role of Interim MD for First Milk’s sports nutrition business CNP, with immediate effect. He fills a vacancy at CNP following “various staff changes in January”, with the position an amalgamation of other senior roles that had recently been left vacant, said a spokesman.

He will undertake a strategic review of the company and lay out options for the next phase of its development, and has previously worked in operations, marketing and finance roles for Mars, Michelin and ICI.

Mike Gallacher said the new appointments would “strengthen the First Milk leadership team as we move rapidly to improve the First Milk business performance”.

The trio brought “high levels of leadership, drive and commercial experience to First Milk and will play key roles in delivering our turnaround plan for the business”, he added.

First Milk drew criticism earlier this month over its decision to defer capital repayments – to farmers which finished supplying it five years ago – by an extra year. It also announced that the deferred payment would be split over three years.

This followed its decision in January to see off a cashflow crisis by deferring regular payments to its milk suppliers by two weeks on an indefinite basis.

First Milk said Gallacher would explain the details of his turnaround plan for the co-operative in a series of meetings planned for the beginning of next month.