No details as to why Brown was leaving the agency were given by the FSA, other than she had “decided to move on”. The FSA is now looking to recruit her successor through open competition.
The FSA said: “We are pleased that Catherine will be with us until the end of March 2017 in her current role and will be making herself available to support a smooth transition to her successor when appointed.”
Brown joined the FSA on October 16 2012 and has led the organisation through the 2013 horsemeat scandal and the growing threat of campylobacter in chickens.
She previously served as chief executive of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency.
Brown has held roles at Unilever, the National Health Service and Bupa, as well as a number of non-executive board member positions at various charities.
However, her departure was welcomed by the Association of Independent Meat Suppliers (AIMS) head of policy Norman Bagley, who has had a troubled relationship with the FSA for a number of years.
“AIMS believes the departure of Catherine Brown as ceo is appropriate given the history of anti-industry sentiments that have concerned us for some time,” said Bagley.
“We need at the helm of the FSA a person with a knowledge of how the food industry works and the expertise to foster a much better working relationship between FSA and industry, to the benefit of consumers and industry alike.”
Meanwhile, there have been a number of high profile appointments over the past month in the food and drink industry, captured in this photo gallery.
Featured appointments include: Symingtons hiring a new chief commercial officer, Branstons taking on a new general manager at its Lincolnshire factory and Mars Food promoting a new sales director.