Bulk ingredients suplpier Tate & Lyle has announced the appointment of Dr Gerry Murphy as a non-executive director and chairman-designate of the company. 

Murphy will join the board on 1 January 2017 and will succeed Sir Peter Gershon as chairman of the company on 1 April 2017, following Gershon’s retirement as a director on 31 March 2017.

Murphy is chairman of The Blackstone Group’s principal European entity. He started his career in the food and drinks sector, primarily with Grand Metropolitan (now Diageo) and Greencore Group, where he was CEO, before becoming CEO of Exel, Carlton Communications and, most recently, Kingfisher (2003 to 2008).

He is a non-executive director of British American Tobacco and Intertrust and has held non-executive directorships in London-listed companies including Merlin Entertainments from 2013 to 2015.

Gershon said: “Gerry’s extensive experience in the food industry and as chief executive, investor and independent director in leading international companies equips him well to guide Tate & Lyle in the years ahead.”

Murphy said: “I am honoured to succeed Sir Peter as chairman of Tate & Lyle and I am very excited about working with Javed Ahmed (CEO), the board and the leadership team to help deliver the company’s growth agenda. Having started my career in the food industry, joining Tate & Lyle feels like coming home.”

Having led the chairman succession process, Liz Airey has informed the board that she intends to step down as senior independent director on 31 December 2016 and will retire from the board at the annual general meeting in July 2017.

Douglas Hurt will assume the role of senior independent director, in addition to his role as chairman of the audit committee, with effect from 1 January 2017.