US dairy giant Dean Foods has announced that Steve Demos has resigned as president of its WhiteWave Foods division to pursue other interests.

Dean Foods chairman and CEO, Gregg Engles, will assume direct leadership over WhiteWave Foods on an interim basis.

"Steve is a gifted entrepreneur and visionary," said Engles. "He built Silk into a formidable brand and has been instrumental in building our branded business platform. We are very grateful for his many contributions to Dean Foods."

"We have assembled a strong team of talented and experienced professionals at the new WhiteWave Foods. To lead this team, we will hire a seasoned leader with deep consumer packaged goods expertise and with the necessary passion to take the business to even higher levels of success. Momentum in our WhiteWave Foods division has been strong, and we expect this to continue as we build the platform for the future."

Dean Foods has retained James Mead & Company, a leading consumer packaged goods executive recruiting firm, to assist in the search for a new President of WhiteWave Foods.

WhiteWave is the United States' leading manufacturer of soymilk, organic milk and other organic foods. The division produces approximately $1.2bn in annual revenue through its brands, including Silk, Horizon Organic, International Delight and Land O'Lakes.