David Hughes is set to take over as chief executive of Plant & Food Research. Announced as Peter Landon-Lane's successor in December 2017, Hughes will officially take over the reins in the top job tomorrow (22 February).
He previously served as Plant & Food Research’s group general manager commercial, where he was responsible for the company’s marketing, business development and IP commercialisation functions.
“David has been an outstanding member of the Plant & Food Research executive team since 2009,” said Plant & Food Research chairman Michael Ahie.
“He has led a number of exciting new initiatives for our Institute, including the expansion of our international business in Australia, the USA and Asia, the establishment of a very successful Aid & Development unit and the continued growth in returns to New Zealand through global sales and commercialisation of IP developed in our labs and crop development centres nationwide.”
Hughes currently serves as a director of KiwiNet, a joint venture between the majority of New Zealand’s universities and crown research institutes aimed at lifting commercialisation of publically funded research.
Prior to joining Plant & Food Research, Hughes worked extensively in the dairy industry with the New Zealand Dairy Board and Fonterra.
With Hughes at the helm, Ahie said Plant & Food Research was well placed to continue its strong scientific and commercial performance.
“David’s appointment comes at a time when Plant & Food Research is in a very good state financially, operationally and strategically,” Ahie explained.
“We have strong leadership capability across the company, a hugely passionate and capable science staff and an equally committed and able team in our commercial and support operations. I am confident that we will continue to deliver high impact science and innovation to clients and for our wider stakeholders that meets and exceeds their needs and expectations.”
Landon-Lane announced his intention to step down from the chief executive role in August 2017, having led the institute since it was formed in 2008.