The UK’s biggest agribusiness, AB Agri – a division of Associated British Foods (ABF) – has a new chief executive, following the retirement of David Yiend after 29 years in the top job. Mr Yiend remains chairman of Frontier Agriculture, the joint venture arable marketing business with Cargill.

The new chief executive is José Nobre, formerly chief executive of Laboratoires Goëmar, the crop biotechnology subsidiary of Arysta LifeSciences. Mr Nobre has worked for Arysta in several senior roles since 2001, including leading its human and animal health and nutrition businesses worldwide.

He grew up in France and trained in agriculture, before starting his career at biotech business Amersham International in the UK, moving to ICN Pharmaceuticals and then spending several years as a mergers & acquisitions consultant for businesses in Europe, Japan and the US.

“José’s extensive international experience, combined with his knowledge of the biotech sector and strong core values make him the perfect choice to lead AB Agri,” says ABF chief executive George Weston.

“David leaves behind a substantial legacy. He has been the driving force in the creation, development and ongoing success of the division and I would like to pay tribute to him and thank him for all he has done during his many years with us.”

Mr Nobre comments:  “I am honoured to have been appointed as AB Agri’s CEO. It is a privilege to be part of a community that delivers high-quality products and innovative solutions, to an industry I have been passionate about since childhood.

“AB Agri is unique, in that its businesses operate across the entire food supply chain – from farm to fork. It is committed to influencing and improving food production, so that what we eat, and what we feed our families, is produced safely and sustainably. As CEO, that is something of which I am extremely proud.”