Plant & Food Research chief executive to step down in mid-2023

After almost 15 years in senior management roles at Plant & Food Research, the Institute’s chief executive, David Hughes, will step down on 30 June 2023.

Announcing his decision, David Hughes said the role of  chief executive had been full of challenges and rich in satisfaction. On taking up the position, he had decided to give it everything for five years then review whether to continue.

“Five years is nearly up, and after a lot of thought and discussion with family, the Board and senior colleagues, I have decided to step down at the end of June 2023. This timeframe will enable the Board to complete the recruitment process and have my successor in place before I leave.

“It has been a real privilege and honour to lead this institution. I will always be proud of my association with Plant & Food Research – the impact it makes and its amazing people.”

PFR Board Chair Nicola Shadbolt said the Board has always valued David’s extensive knowledge of the Crown research institute and its related industries and his focused leadership, especially through the last few “quite difficult” years.

“We have thoroughly enjoyed working with David but we fully respect his decision to call time and make way for a new person to step up to the leadership role.

“David’s imprint on the organisation is truly significant and he will leave with an impressive legacy. Our facilities and infrastructure are in better shape and we have a robust process for ongoing investment. Our Growing Futures science strategy is bold and is drawing a number of leading edge organisations to work with us.

“Through his unique blend of science and business knowhow, David has helped us establish deeper customer relationships, and it is very pleasing to see a number of commercial partners signing long-term investment programmes with us.

“Our Tono strategy is progressing well – with many staff embracing Te Reo learning opportunities, the suite of Tono initiatives and our Mātauranga and Taonga Principles – and our Tech Development activity is creating impressive opportunities which bode well for PFR’s future.”

The Board was deeply grateful to David for his work ethic, vision, humour, leadership skills and advocacy for the institute’s people and the impact it makes.

Source: Plant & Food Research

Author: Bob Edlin

Editor of AgScience Magazine and Editor of the AgScience Blog