Tulip has finally appointed a new CEO after the departure of Steve Murrells, who left to head up The Co-operative Group’s food business almost eight months ago.

Chris Thomas joins the Danish Crown-owned meat processor on 15 May from food-to-go business Adelie Food where he has been chief executive since 2009.

Prior to Adelie, Thomas held senior management positions at Mars, PepsiCo, St Ivel, and was MD at BakkavÖr. He is also a chartered engineer and holds an MBA from Brunel University.

“I am delighted to join a business of Tulip’s expertise and scale and look forward to working with the team to build on the phenomenal growth it has enjoyed over recent years,” he said.

Tulip’s stand-in CEO and chairman Flemming Enevoldsen will relocate back to Denmark in July where he will continue to work within Danish Crown as chairman of Tulip and CEO of DC Foods - the four processing companies within Danish Crown.

“We have undertaken a rigorous search to find the right individual to lead the Tulip business and I know Chris’s experience, customer relationships and value set make him a fantastic fit for our business,” Enevoldsen added.

“I will, of course, ensure an effective handover before I return to Denmark and am confident Tulip will continue to strengthen its position under Chris’s leadership.”

Thomas has also held senior positions at Mars, PepsiCo, St Ivel and, most recently, as managing director of BakkavÖr.