Ishen Paran 2

In a LinkedIn post announcing his resignation Paran described it as an ‘end of an era’ and said that ‘2023 is for the family’

Ishen Paran has stepped down as Oatly UK general manager. 

In a LinkedIn post announcing his resignation, Paran described his departure from the brand as an “end of an era” and said that “2023 is for the family”.

Paran joined the brand in 2017 as its UK general manager, and had previously worked for Urban Fresh Foods, Moma Foods, The Feel Good Drinks Company and Procter & Gamble.

Since joining the oat milk giant, “we took on dairy and made oat milk a thing in the UK”, Paran said.

“I am so proud of what we have achieved and built in the UK and the change we set out to make,” he added. “Change is never easy, but it sure is exciting and challenging.”

He described the growth of the brand in the UK under his leadership, “starting from renting a few desks in old street to now working with the most incredible group of people” as “an honour”.

Under Paran’s leadership, the brand launched plans to open its first UK factory, expected to open this year. It also announced plans for a new research centre.

However, it has also been subject to criticism following attempts to sue challenger brand Glebe Farm Foods for its PureOaty product and marketing missteps.

“In 2017, when I told friends and family I was going to work for an oat milk company, they laughed,” said Paran. “Admittedly they still laugh at me, but now it is for numerous other reasons…but not oat milk.”

In 2017, the oat milk category was worth £15.5m [Kantar Worldpanel 52 w/e 21 May 2017]. By 2022 the category had grown to be worth £166m [NielsenIQ 52 w/e 13 September 2022].

Paran said the business would be left in “great hands with the existing team and some great new additions to the leadership to take it to the next level”.

Oatly has been approached for comment on who will succeed Paran.