Australia’s Brownes Dairy has promoted sales and marketing director Natalie Sarich-Dayton to the role of CEO.

Sarich-Dayton has spent more than seven years at Brownes, joining the Western Australia-based business after five years at Coke bottler Coca-Cola Enterprises.

The first female CEO Brownes has appointed, Sarich-Dayton’s career also includes roles at the then HJ Heinz, Danone and Unilever.

She takes over at Brownes boss from Tony Girgis, who was at the helm of the business for seven years, a period which included its sale to Shanghai Ground Foods Tech Co. in 2017.

“Brownes Dairy is a remarkable company with a thirst for product and brand innovation,” Sarich-Dayton said.

At the start of 2020, Chinese dairy giant Mengniu Dairy invested in Shanghai Ground Foods Tech Co., also known as Ground Food, buying a 5% stake.

Just before Christmas, Mengniu announced plans to acquire more shares and take its shareholding to just more than 23%.