Australian healthy food business Forbidden Foods has appointed a new chief executive and made changes to its board following the resignation of its executive chairman.

Melbourne-based Forbidden Foods, which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange, has appointed Alex Aleksic as CEO who is set to start from tomorrow (1 July).

Current CEO and co-founder Marcus Brown has relocated to the North American division of the company to work with the Blue Dinosaur brand, which was acquired in 2021.

Aleksic was formerly CFO of Lark Distillery, an Australian whisky maker. He stated his excitement about joining the company following its recent consolidation.

He said: “Forbidden Foods is incredibly well placed to capitalise on the large addressable markets in the US and Australia and has a solid framework in place for growth. I look forward to fast-tracking a number of initiatives across the existing portfolio, as well as pursuing other opportunities which have the potential to unlock considerable shareholder value in the near term.”

Last month, Forbidden Foods announced an “optimisation” of its board – ex-COO, executive director and co-founder Jarrod Milani was transferred to the role of non-executive director.

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Tony Rowlinson also moved from non-executive chairman to executive chairman. However, in the company’s latest filing, it revealed that Rowlinson will resign without listing a reason. Forbidden Foods thanked Rowlinson for his commitment to the company and wished him well for the future.

Milani, who has now transitioned to non-executive chairman, spoke about Aleksic’s appointment: “We are pleased to announce Mr Aleksic’s appointment as CEO, which significantly strengthens the company’s management team at an important juncture in its growth trajectory. Aleksic’s extensive experience in CFO roles at large consumer goods businesses provides him with the ideal skillset to lead Forbidden Foods’ next phase of growth, with strategic acumen complemented by a disciplined focus on financial performance and cost management.

“The accompanying board changes also leave the company well positioned to execute on its growth strategy, with Tony Rowlinson stepping down as interim executive chairman role following the successful completion of the CEO search.”

Forbidden Foods’ share price rose 21.43% today (30 June) off the back of the leadership and board changes, finishing at A$0.017 ($0.011).