John Jordan, the CEO of Irish dairy cooperative Ornua, is to leave the role, the company has announced.

Jordan is taking up a new position as chief operating officer at an unnamed US-based private-equity company.

Dublin-based Ornua, which has separate food and ingredients arms, said the process of selecting a new CEO will begin immediately. In the meantime, CFO Donal Buggy will assume the responsibilities of interim chief executive.

Jordan has been Ornua CEO for the past five years. Prior to taking the helm, he held several other executive roles at the company, which produces Pilgrim’s Choice and Dubliner cheeses as well as its flagship Kerrygold butter brand.

The cooperative is supplied by 14,000 Irish dairy farmers.

Commenting on Jordan’s departure, Ornua chair Aidan O’Driscoll said: “John has given a huge part of his professional life to Ornua, as he joined us approximately 30 years ago. It has been a privilege to work with him.”

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He added: “I am very pleased that we are in a position to appoint someone of the quality of Donal Buggy as interim CEO. Donal has been CFO at Ornua since 2013 and is widely known and highly respected by Ornua staff, customers and industry peers.”

Jordan said: “It has been a huge honour for me to be the chief executive of Ornua, and to have spent three decades working in this business.

He added: “I am confident that Ornua will go from strength to strength. We have great brands and a brilliant team.”

Ornua, which exports to 110 countries, recorded turnover of €3.40bn ($3.67bn) in 2022, up 36.7% from the previous year.