East-West Seed (EWS) has appointed Katalin Pákozdi as its new chief R&D officer, a move that the seed company has said "strengthens capabilities for today's agricultural challenges".
Pákozdi stepped into the role today (16 August), replacing Simon Jan de Hoop.
"Katalin held a leadership role at Driscoll’s as the EMEA plant breeding director, with a previous extensive breeding experience in peppers and strawberries," explained Douwe Zijp, East-West Seed CEO. "She brings the right experience with her breeding knowledge and background in the vegetable seed and fruit industry. She has a strong understanding of market needs, strategy formulation for the business and expertise in leading teams.
"Katalin joining the managing board means we have come one step closer to improving gender diversity at the leadership level," he continued.
"Under Katalin's leadership, the R&D organisation will consist of an innovation counsel and the R&D business support team, as well as a group breeding manager, group biotechnology manager and group pathology manager," Zijp noted. "From 16 August onwards, Simon will be innovation counsel for East-West Seed and will continue to support Katalin and the R&D leadership team."
Pákozdi said she was delighted to be joining the EWS team, and looked forward to strengthening its R&D capabilities.
“The organisation has done a truly inspiring job in the past 40 years to develop and promote high quality vegetable seeds and to support, educate and gain trust of smallholder farmers," she said. "I am honoured to take up the role as chief R&D Officer, continue driving EWS’ mission forward and develop value added varieties that meet future demands.”