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Jim Woulfe, CEO Dairygold Co-op is to step down from the CEO role later this year

Jim Woulfe, CEO Dairygold Co-op is to step down from the CEO role later this year

6th April 2021

Chairman John O’ Gorman thanks Mr Woulfe for his ‘outstanding leadership’ of the Society through a decade of major change, investment and business growth. 


After working in the business for over 42-years of which he has served 12 as chief executive, Jim Woulfe, CEO, Dairygold Co-operative Society Limited has announced his upcoming retirement. Dairygold will now begin the process to recruit a successor and Jim will step down from the CEO role at year end when a successor has been appointed.


Commenting on his upcoming retirement Mr Woulfe said, “it has been a huge honour and a privilege to have worked with the Dairygold Board, Management, Staff, Shareholders & Customers during my term as CEO, in leading the Dairygold organisation through a period of substantial change and

growth”. I am very proud of Dairygold today, the strength of the business, its members and the Leadership team.

On a personal basis he said, “I have enjoyed every year of my 42 years working in Dairygold and the Irish Agri & Dairy industry. I sincerely thank the many stakeholders in the business for the tremendous support I have been given over the years. In my decision to retire I believe that the business is in a good place and that now is the right time to pass the baton on to the next CEO who will work with a strong Leadership team to continue to take the Dairygold organisation forward to its next stage of strategic growth.”

Dairygold Chairman Mr John O’ Gorman stated, “Jim has provided Dairygold with an outstanding performance throughout his career and in particular as CEO from July 2009 to date, he has worked with the Board and enthusiastically led the business through twelve years of substantial transformation. He has served Dairygold and its Members and Staff with outstanding vision with Revenues growing from €555 million in 2009 to €1.02 billion by end 2020 along with the Net Asset Value (NAV) of the Society growing from €206 million to €388 million by end 2020, an increase of over 88% under his leadership.”


“The growth arising has been substantially underpinned by the Society’s need to accommodate post quota milk expansion which required a major capital investment programme during the past decade. This highly successful capital investment programme has regenerated and transformed the Society’s dairy processing sites in Mitchelstown, Mallow and Mogeely into world-class dairy processing facilities capable of processing projected milk growth up to and beyond peak-milk 2025.”


“During his tenure as CEO Jim led collaboration with Ornua for the establishment of its Kerrygold Butter manufacturing Centre of Excellence in Mitchelstown, and with Norwegian Co-op TINE for the establishment of its Jarlsberg Cheese factory in Mogeely. Today, Dairygold’s Agri Business is well structured and consolidated into a vibrant and efficient network of Co Op Superstores and farm services provision to support sustainable farming activity and rural living across the region.”


“On behalf of the Board, our Committees, and our Members and Staff and on my own behalf, I thank Jim most sincerely for his huge contribution to Dairygold, for his commitment and leadership in the dairy business and for the foundation he has laid within the business for the benefit of sustainable dairy farming into the future. I extend every good wish and happiness for the future to Jim, to his wife Ann and their family.”


A native of Ardagh, Co Limerick, Mr Woulfe (60) graduated in Dairy Science from University College Cork and joined Ballyclough Co-op in Mallow in 1979, serving in diverse management roles before the neighbouring Mitchelstown and Ballyclough Co-ops merged in 1990 to establish Dairygold. He held a number of senior management roles in Dairygold, including Milk Supplies, Head of Human Resources and Head of Agri-Business, prior to being appointed Dairygold’s CEO in July 2009.