Arla Foods UK has named Bas Padberg, current vice-president of Arla Foods Southeast Asia, as its new managing director.

Padberg first joined the company 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.

He will take up the role on January 1, 2024; in the interim period until he takes over, the company’s executive vice-president for Europe, Peter Giørtz-Carlsen, will lead the business.

Commenting on the announcement, Giørtz-Carlsen said:

“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.”

Giørtz-Carlsen also paid homage to outgoing Arla head Ash Amirahmadi, who is leaving the company to become chief executive office of Sofina Foods Europe.

“Ash has been an integral profile and leader in our UK business for almost two decades, and we are sad to see him go,” he said.

Ash Amirahmadi

“I want to thank him for his service to Arla and our farmers during his five years as head of Arla UK. 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.

“We wish Ash all the best in his new job.”

Amirahmadi said it was a “difficult” decision to leave Arla after a “joyful 20 years”.

“I complete my time both with a sense of sadness and pride,” he said.

“I will miss our farmers, our people and the deep friendships I have developed. It is people, relationships, and values that make organisations special, and the cooperation between our farmers and our colleagues gives us the unique culture of Arla.

“For me, the Sofina role is a big one and a different challenge which is what I now need in my career. I am and will always be grateful to have been part of Arla.”