Geoff Doherty has taken on the role of Greencore's chief financial officer, which was vacated when Patrick Coveney was promoted to chief executive last month.

Doherty, who has been with the convenience food manufacturer since 2001, will also be chief executive of the group's property and agricultural and business activities.

He joined the company as group financial controller and immediately played a key role in the integration of Hazlewood food company into Greencore.

In 2005, Doherty was promoted to group development director, where he had responsibility for planning and executing the expansion of the food business, as well as board responsibility for developing Greencore's property portfolio. The property agenda will remain an integral fixture of Doherty's new role as he will be managing Greencore's valuable 1,000 acre land assets, which became vacant after the closure of the company's sugar processing plants in Carlow and Cork in the Republic of Ireland and Littlehampton in West Sussex in 2006. The land is currently vacant but is to be sold off for development, and is thought to be worth a total of £140m.

Doherty will also lead Greencore's drive to set up a chilled foods business across in the US, through acquisition. The group is keen to cash in on increasing interest among food retailers in chilled food in the States.

"I am delighted Geoff will be the new chief financial officer of Greencore and that he will continue to lead our property agenda," said Coveney. "He is already a key leader in our business and has played a central role in shaping the business and culture we have today.

"He brings highly relevant experience, insight, passion and tremendous energy to the new role. In this context, a seamless transfer of responsibilities will be easy to achieve."