Daiya Foods, the Canadian plant-based food manufacturer owned by Japan’s Otsuka Pharmaceuticals, has announced the appointment of Michael Watt as its new CEO.

Watt brings more than 15 years of global experience as a CEO and general manager directing operations throughout Australia, New Zealand, Asia Pacific and the US. His background includes senior leadership roles in large food businesses including Mars and Campbell Soup Co.

He replaces Terry Tierney who retired last year. After Tierney’s departure, chief marketing officer Michael Lynch had filled the CEO on an interim basis. According to Lynch’s LinkedIn page, he has left the business.

Bill McHale, chairman of the company’s board of directors, said: “After an exhaustive search with many experienced and talented applicants, we feel strongly that Michael is the right person to successfully lead Daiya into the future.

“In a market place of increasing competition and complexity, we are confident that his global experience combined with his innovative mindset and strong leadership skills will position Daiya as a leading plant-based brand in our industry.”

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As CEO, Watt will lead all global operations for Daiya throughout North America and its continued international expansion. 

Daiya will be moving its operations to a new 400,000 sq-ft facility this year.

Watt said: “Our commitment to delighting consumers with great-tasting, high-quality, innovative products creates a significant opportunity for Daiya to positively impact people and the planet through our performance. Daiya is committed to changing the way our world eats as a leader in plant-based foods.”