Plant & Food Research – Rangahau Ahumāra Kai has appointed Mark Piper chief executive.
He will take up the role on May 1, when David Hughes, who has been CEO since 2018, retires.
Piper has 30 years’ global experience in the food and primary sectors.
Chair Nicola Shadbolt said the board made the appointment from a field of high calibre applicants.
“The board has taken great care over this vital appointment. We are thrilled with the calibre of people who came forward wanting to be part of our organisation. This is testimony to the work being done by our people and the reputation of Plant & Food Research for high quality, impactful science,” she said.
“Mark’s passion for science is clear and he takes great energy from its potential to create a more positive and sustainable future. I know that Mark will lead Plant & Food Research with innovation, integrity, and impact.”
Piper joins Plant & Food Research from Fonterra Co-operative Group, where he spent the past five years as director of R&D, category marketing and strategy, leading a team of around 400 staff.
During his 30 years with Fonterra, Piper held roles in New Zealand and internationally.
They included three years in Japan in a technical role focused on growth and customer engagement, and five years in the United States, where he was regional director for Fonterra Americas, based in Chicago.
Piper lives in Te Papaioea Palmerston North with his wife Angela and most of their six children.
He has a strong connection to Manawatū and will be formally based at Plant & Food Research’s Te Papaioea Palmerston North site.
Nicola Shadbolt acknowledged the significant contribution made by Hughes during his time at Plant & Food Research, building the platform that Piper can now use to take the business to the next level.
“The board offers its sincerest thanks to David for his commitment and huge contribution to Plant & Food Research,” she said.