US-based Aurora Organic Dairy said founder Marc Peperzak will pass the chief executive role to Scott McGinty, but will take on the new position of executive chairman of the business.

McGinty joined the company in 2003 and was promoted to president in 2010. Peperzak said McGinty had been unofficially assuming the duties of CEO for the past 18 months.

Peperzak will continue to serve as chairman of the board of directors. He has been CEO since the firm was founded in 1976.

“As president, Scott has been on a succession track for several years and has been assuming the duties of CEO, directly, over the last 18 months,” Peperzak said in a statement. “He has been an integral part of our senior leadership team since he joined the company in 2003, and I look forward to his leadership as CEO.” 

Peperzak first established the company in Jerome, Idaho, before moving its headquarters to Boulder, Colorado, in 1984. In the early 1990s, he also co-founded Horizon Organic Dairy , for whom Aurora began producing organic milk. 

The business made the transition to a fully organic dairy company in 2003. 

McGinty said: “We are focused on building the strength of retailer organic brands from cow to carton. Our investments in the supply chain will offer our partners more product innovation and traceability than ever before.” 

In May 2017, Aurora Organic Dairy was confronted with a claim reported widely in the media that its products were not fully compliant with organic rules. At the time, Peperzak said the allegations were lodged by “activists”.

The USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP), the US authority for properly certified organic food production, in September closed the complaint against Aurora Organic Dairy’s (AOD) High Plains Dairy , finding the company in full compliance with the access to pasture and grazing regulations required in organic dairy production.