Arla Foods UK announces new managing director

Bas Padberg will take over in January 2024
calendar icon 13 June 2023
clock icon 3 minute read

European dairy cooperative and Britain's biggest dairy company Arla Foods has announced the departure of its UK Managing Director, Ash Amirahmadi, who is leaving to become CEO of Sofina Foods Europe, according to a company press release. He will be replaced by Bas Padberg, who is currently VP of Arla Foods Southeast Asia.

Ash Amirahmadi will leave on July 31, 2023. He joined Arla Foods in 2004 from Unilever and has held a number of leading roles across the organisation. He was appointed Managing Director of Arla UK in 2018 and under his leadership the company has since then continued the positive growth journey of Arla's biggest market as it grew into a EUR 3 billion business through significantly improved sales of popular dairy brands like Arla Cravendale, Arla Protein, Lurpak, Anchor and Starbucks chilled drinks.

"Ash has been an integral profile and leader in our UK business for almost two decades, and we are sad to see him go. I want to thank him for his service to Arla and our farmers during his five years as Head of Arla UK," said Peter Giørtz-Carlsen, executive vice president for Europe. "He has led our UK business and organisation through a period with many disruptions like Brexit, the pandemic and inflation in recent years, and has established Arla as a leader within sustainability in the UK food industry. Perhaps his greatest achievement is that he leaves behind a strong team and a talented organisation who has been part of creating a leading food business, so the future is bright for Arla in the UK. Our strategy is a winning one and I have confidence in the next generation of leaders to steer Arla through the next chapters of our UK story. We wish Ash all the best in his new job."

Successor to start in January 2024

Following a rigorous process, an internal successor has been identified in Bas Padberg, who currently serves as VP of Southeast Asia. Bas Padberg joined Arla in 2014 from Royal Friesland Campina to become Managing Director of Arla's business in the Netherlands, Belgium and France, which he turned into the fastest growing branded market in Arla Europe.

"I am delighted that Bas has accepted the opportunity to lead our skilled and engaged UK organisation, because he is a highly-trusted leader in Arla with a long track-record of building and sustaining a strong people-focused culture. He is very experienced in creating value between our farmers and our strategic customers from his time in charge of our Dutch, Belgian and French business. I want to congratulate Bas on his appointment and am looking forward to working with him on delivering the exciting long-term strategy for our UK business," Peter Giørtz-Carlsen said.

Padberg will take up his new role on 1 January 2024. In the interim period until he joins, EVP of Europe Peter Giørtz-Carlsen will maintain the executive leadership of Arla’s UK business in close collaboration with the strong UK leadership team of Arla UK.

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