Hearn is due to take up the roles from 1 January 2024, when he will also become chair of the nominations committee.
Currently, Hearn is serving as the chair of Safestore Holdings and The a2 Milk Company, a role he will step away from on 16 November 2023. He also operates as a non-executive director of Lovat Partners.
Throughout a career that spans more than 40 years, Hearn held senior positions at global food and drink businesses including Del Monte, PepsiCo and United Biscuits. Between 1995 and 2021, he worked as the chief executive of Australian food firm Goodman Fielder, before taking on the same role with Cordiant Group in the US.
In 2005, Hearn was made the CEO of private equity and advisory company Committed Capital, and acted as the chair for a number of its portfolio business across a 12-year stint with the firm.
Warren Tucker has served as interim chair since 1 September 2023 and will remain a non-executive director and chair of the audit committee following Hearn’s arrival. Meanwhile, senior independent director Paul Forman, who led the search for the new chair, will retire from the board at the end of the year, with Kim Nelson already announced as his replacement.
Appointment will strengthen the Tate & Lyle board
Commenting on the impending arrival of Hearn, Tucker said that the board was delighted with the appointment.
Tucker continued: “David’s breadth of experience, skills and knowledge, particularly of the food industry, will complement and further strengthen Tate & Lyle’s board. I look forward to working closely with him to ensure a smooth handover during the coming weeks.”
Tate & Lyle chief executive Nick Hampton echoed the words of Tucker, describing his enthusiasm for working together in order to “deliver on our strategy to create solutions that meet growing consumer demand for healthier, tastier and more sustainable food and drink”.
Hampton added: “On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Warren Tucker for his diligent leadership of the board during this interim period, and also to thank Paul Forman for his leadership of the Chair succession process, his service as the Senior Independent Director, and for his significant contribution to the Tate & Lyle Board over the last nine years.”
Finally, Hearn expressed his anticipation for starting in the new role at an “exciting time” for the business.
“Tate & Lyle is a business with a deep sense of purpose, in a strong financial position, which puts its customers at the heart of everything it does,” he concluded.