The new role, a two-year fixed term starting on November 3, will include finalising the organisation’s preparations for Brexit, as well delivering regulatory strategy, nutrition and digital programmes.
Hesketh-Laird previously served as interim CEO of the Scotch Whisky Association before joining the SSPO in February 2018, following the retirement of long serving boss Scott Landsburgh.
She said of her new position: ‘Never have the challenges of maintaining food standards been in sharper focus. I am looking forward to using my experience of the sector to help FSS continue to develop effective policies for a successful food and drink industry and ensure consumer protection.’
Geoff Ogle, FSS chief executive, said Hesketh-Laird ‘brings a wealth of trade body experience and a different and valuable perspective as we adapt to new trading requirements, and the subsequent regulatory assurance required for any trade deals’.
The SSPO is understood to have completed its recruitment process for a new chief executive and an announcement about Hesketh-Laird’s replacement is expected soon.