Dairy Crest has named Stephen Alexander as its new chairman.

Alexander was appointed a non-executive director at the dairy giant in 2011. He has also been chairman of the remuneration committee since May 2012.

He replaces Anthony Fry who is stepping down from the role due to ill health.

Dairy Crest revealed in March that Fry had been taken ill and was in hospital under observation.

“It is sad that Anthony will no longer chair the board,” said Dairy Crest chief executive Mark Allen.

“Anthony has had a significant influence on the business since his appointment as a non-executive director in 2007, and especially since he became chairman in 2010.  I shall miss working with him.”

On Alexander, he added: “Stephen has been a very strong non-executive and makes an excellent replacement. I am looking forward to working more closely with him.”