The FDF’s chief operating officer Tim Rycroft will replace the outgoing Jane King as AHDB’s new CEO.
Rycroft, who has worked for FDF since 2015, will join AHDB on 31 August. King is due to leave the levy board on 31 March after 6 years at the helm. During the intervening period, AHDB’s interim CEO will Ken Boyns, the body’s chief finance and operations officer.
In his time at the FDF, Rycroft has been responsible for strategy and corporate affairs, as well as overseeing the federation’s policy on diet, health and on competitiveness. He is also a former government special adviser.
His departure from the trade body comes as FDF CEO Ian Wright also plans to move on to new challenges, after confirming a fortnight ago he would depart by the end of 2021.
Rycroft has also held senior domestic and international corporate affairs positions with InterContinental Hotels Group (as director of communications, Europe) and Diageo (as corporate relations director for GB, and then corporate relations director, Global Duty Free).
He has also worked at Boots Healthcare International as head of corporate affairs, and in addition to spells as a consultant, worked in government between 1995 and 1997 as a special adviser to the minister without portfolio and secretary of state for health.
He will join AHDB at a time of significant change, following votes in favour of abolishing its compulsory levy by horticulture and potato growers over the past two months.
AHDB chair, Nicholas Saphir said Rycroft’s experience “in his previous commercial and FDF roles, makes him ideally equipped to lead the significant change that we have started to introduce to the organisation”.
“Tim will spearhead the ongoing programme when he joins us full time at the end of August, but in the meantime, Ken Boyns and I are making sure that the work in progress is not held up while waiting for Tim to take up his new role,” he added.
Rycroft said: “It’s tremendously exciting to be asked to lead AHDB at this critical moment in its history. Nicholas Saphir and the team have set out a bold vision for change. Now this must be swiftly delivered so we can continue to play our vital role as a source of competitive advantage, underpinning a world class food and farming industry.”