The managing directors of Arla and Muller have also been announced as vice chairs.
Paul Vernon has been elected to succeed Dr David Dobbin, at the Dairy UK Annual General Meeting held today.
Mr Vernon, who has worked with Glanbia Cheese for 22 years, said it was a huge privilege.
“I am both appreciative and humbled by the support other leading figures across the supply chain have given me, in accepting this role,” he said.
“I can make one firm commitment without any hesitation, and that is that Dairy UK will spare no effort in fighting for the interests of dairy. We have massive challenges ahead of us, particularly in relation to Brexit, so there has never been a more important time to remind government and decision-makers of the relevance and importance of dairy.
“Whilst Brexit might dominate the political landscape, we mustn’t forget there’s still work to do across a whole range of other key issues facing the industry, such as protecting and promoting the nutritional benefits of dairy foods.
“These are extraordinary times, but where there is challenge there is also opportunity. We must ensure our industry works to create an environment conducive to these new opportunities.”
Dairy UK CEO Dr Judith Bryans thanked former chairman David Dobbin and said Dairy UK was lucky to be gaining another leading industry figure.
“Paul enjoys widespread respect and support across the industry and is an ideal successor to David.”
Arla Foods managing director Tomas Pietrangeli and Andrew McInnes, managing director of Muller Milk and Ingredients were also elected vice-chairs of Dairy UK.
Dr Bryans said: “Tomas and Andrew have a wealth of expertise and insight behind them, all of which will be important in helping Dairy UK to create a positive environment for the future of the industry.”