L-R: John Murphy, Seán Molloy and Jim Bergin
Tirlán has announced that Jim Bergin will retire from his position as CEO on 31 July this year, with Seán Molloy, current chief ingredients and agribusiness officer, set to succeed him.
The dairy co-op, which was formerly known as Glanbia Cooperative and Glanbia Ireland, said the announcement followed “a comprehensive recruitment process,” that was initiated in June 2023 when Bergin informed the board of his retirement plans.
In 2021, Tirlán announced it’d become an independent company, when the Irish dairy and ingredients company divested its remaining 40% stake in Glanbia Ireland to Glanbia Cooperative Society in a €307 million deal.
Molloy first joined Glanbia in 2006, where he held senior management positions, including director of strategy and supplier relations from 2006 to 2018 and chief agribusiness officer from 2018 to 2021. He will assume the role of Tirlán’s CEO on 1 August.
John Murphy, chairperson of Tirlán, said: “On behalf of the board, our farm families and the 2,300 employees of Tirlán, I wish to express our deep gratitude to Jim for his huge contribution to our organisation over the course of his 40-year career. He can be particularly proud of his success in establishing Tirlán as an independent, 100% farmer-owned co-op, culminating in the €307 million buyout of the Glanbia Ireland business.”
“Highly respected for his authentic leadership style, and for his advocacy on behalf of Irish farmers, Jim always remained true to his farming roots and relished his engagement with our 5,000 farm families. In recent years, he has successfully overseen the investment of €600 million by our organisation to expand milk processing capacity, which facilitated significant growth in milk output at the farm level following the abolition of EU milk quotas in 2015. This now results in annual milk and grain payments from Tirlán of €2 billion, which, based on an analysis by EY, supports 19,000 jobs in the rural economy.”
He added: “Seán has a tremendous track record of delivery within the organisation. He played a central role in the transformation of the business, culminating in the formation of Tirlán. Seán has led award-winning innovation projects and built strategic relationships with leading international customers. An excellent communicator, he is highly respected by his colleagues and is renowned for his deep knowledge of the agricultural sector. From a farming background in Co. Offaly, he is passionate for the well-being of Tirlán farm families.
“It is an appropriate time for leadership transition at the co-op with the business in a very strong financial position, led by an excellent team.”
Bergin commented: “It has been a unique privilege to play a leadership role in what has been ‘my local co-op’ for 40 years. The close engagement of our farmer shareholders and customers with our workforce brings a unique level of accountability and dialogue which I enjoyed greatly. Having commenced my career in a co-op, transitioned to a plc for 34 years and progressed to a co-op again in 2021, has been a wonderful corporate adventure while the organisation created €2 billion of additional value for our farm families. The greatest constant has been the wonderful people I’ve met and the lifelong friends I have made.”
“I would like to wish my colleague Seán every success as he takes the helm later in 2024, and I look forward to working with him on the transition over the coming months. I know how passionate and committed he is to Tirlán and our farm families, and I have no doubt he will drive the Co-op forward with the support of a great team.”
Molloy stated: “I look forward to leading our superb team, and I am grateful to the board for placing its trust in me. I extend particular appreciation to Jim Bergin for his mentorship and support over the past 18 years. As we navigate the opportunities and challenges ahead in partnership with my 2,300 colleagues, I will focus on what is important to our farm families and customers as we lead an ambitious business into the future.”
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