Iain Ferguson, chief executive of Tate & Lyle, has been elected as president of the Food and Drink Federation (FDF).
Ferguson will take over from current president, Unilever UK chairman Gavin Neath, on January 1.
He says: "I look forward to working with the FDF team and other stakeholders in the food chain as we address the challenges and opportunities facing our industry."
Ferguson’s appointment to the industry body, which represents UK food manufacturers, comes at a key time. It is currently battling to stave off a ban on advertising food products before 9pm. An announcement from broadcast industry watchdog Ofcom is expected in the next two weeks.
The FDF has also been a key voice in the debate over food labelling and the introduction of a "traffic light" system for levels of fat, salt and sugar in food.
Ferguson joined Tate & Lyle in 2003 from Unilever, where he had been since 1977. He joined the company as a graduate trainee and held a variety of roles across operations, sales and industrial marketing. His last role for the company was senior vice-president corporate development for Unilever Plc.