California Dairies Inc. has announced the selection of Brad Anderson as its next president and CEO, effective Jan. 1.

Anderson currently serves as the cooperative’s chief operating officer and is succeeding Andrei Mikhalevsky, who has served as president and CEO since 2012. Mikhalevsky will retire from CDI at the end of the year.

“It’s been a privilege to lead CDI these past eight years during a time of great transition and change for the state’s dairy industry,” Mikhalevsky said in a press release from the cooperative.

“I believe the organization will be in strong hands under Brad’s leadership going forward. He is a proven expert in corporate strategy, with particular experience in the food and beverage industry,” he said.

“I believe he will continue the path CDI has taken in driving innovation and delivering value-added products to our customers worldwide,” he said.

Since joining the organization last September, Anderson has supported CDI’s effective implementation of the California Federal Milk Marketing Order, led the due diligence and integration of CDI’s newly acquired Turlock North milk powder facility and created a cross-functional team to lead innovation and growth-focused capital investments.

“We could not be more excited to have Brad as the next chief executive officer,” Simon Vander Woude, CDI chairman of the board, said.

“Brad has extensive knowledge of our industry and is a strong strategic visionary leader, which will move CDI forward into the future,” he said.

Anderson brings 28 years of experience in the food and beverage industry to the position. Before joining CDI, Anderson was senior vice president and chief sales officer at Dean Foods and held positions of increasing responsibility at Sara Lee Corp., Pepsi Bottling Group and Earthgrains Co.

“I am honored and humbled to be the next CEO of California Dairies Inc., and I appreciate the confidence that both Andrei and the board of the directors have placed in me,” Anderson said.

“This is a dynamic time for CDI, and I look forward to continuing the company’s vision of being the leading source of dairy nutrition for a healthy world,” he said.

CDI is the largest member-owned milk marketing and processing cooperative in California, producing 40% of the state’s milk.

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