By Ian McConnell

MARK Allen, former chief executive of Dairy Crest, has been appointed as chairman-designate of Irn-Bru manufacturer AG Barr.

The soft-drinks group announced yesterday that John Nicolson, who has been its chairman since January 2015 and a non-executive director since 2013, would step down from its board prior to the next annual meeting in May 2022.

Mr Allen will become a non-executive director and chairman-designate of AG Barr with effect from July 1.

The group, based at Cumbernauld near Glasgow, said: “Mark brings a deep understanding of consumer goods to the board, as well as significant public company experience, all of which will be important as AG Barr continues to execute its strategy and growth plans.”

It added that Mr Allen is “a highly experienced director and board member with a long and successful career across multiple sectors”.

AG Barr noted Mr Allen’s “early career in the police force” had “sparked an interest in law”.

After completing a law degree, he subsequently held a variety of corporate roles, initially with Shell, and later with Dairy Crest, where he was chief executive from 2007 to 2019, prior to the business being acquired by Saputo.

AG Barr noted that Mr Allen had also held non-executive roles at Howden Joinery, Dairy UK and Warburtons, as well as at Norcros, which he chaired from July 2020 until April 2021.

He is currently non-executive chairman of Halo Foods.

AG Barr also announced that Zoe Howorth, an economics graduate who “has had a successful career spanning a range of roles at Procter & Gamble, United Biscuits and The Coca-Cola Company”, is joining its board as a non-executive director from July 1.

It added that, having completed eight years as a non-executive director, Pam Powell will stand down at the end of June as part of “the long-term board succession plan”.