Chief Executive Officer

Ref: 6787

EIT Food

Leuven, Belgium

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For an initial conversation please contact:

Fiona Lyons

Research Associate

Primary Practice Group: Industry Research and Development

Salary & Benefits: Competitive - commensurate with experience

Closing Date: 06/10/2023

Formal Interview Date: Tuesday, 21st & Wednesday, 22nd November 2023

Chief Executive Officer - European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT) Food

EIT Food is Europe’s leading food innovation initiative. We are active in the agri-food sector and inspire, coordinate and fund a network of world-class partners to transform the food system to improve the health of citizens and the environment. Supported by the EU, our main task is to transform the European food system to achieve net zero GHG emissions by 2050 by using our unique ecosystem of large argi-food multinationals, SMEs, University and R&D Institutions partners to work together within the major agri-food value chains as orchestrator and funder. We create connections right across the food system that stimulate new ideas and innovations to drive change: between startups and corporates; between food entrepreneurs and investors; between consumers and industry; between research and action; between ideas and reality; between present and future.

As its current CEO is going to retire at the end of this year, EIT Food is seeking to appoint the next Chief Executive Officer to lead the organisation in realising its mission. The CEO will be responsible for the overall vision, strategy, governance and operations of the organisations. The CEO will also represent EIT food internationally and support the development of a strong EIT Food culture and brand. The CEO will be appointed and accountable to the Supervisory Board of EIT Food.

This is an outstanding opportunity to shape and advance the future of EIT Food. The ideal candidate will be a dynamic and inspirational strategic leader with a demonstrable track record of building, managing and mentoring high-performing teams. Candidates for the post will have a solid scientific understanding and commercial acumen, with a strong legacy in networking with C-suite executives in the agri-food business sector, ideally within the EU. They will have strong advocacy skills and proven ambassadorial skills to engage with funders, industry and other international stakeholders.

How to apply

EIT Food will be supported in this appointment process by the executive search firm Perrett Laver. Perrett Laver will support the search committee in the discharge of its duties, both to assist in the assessment of candidates against the requirements for the role, and to identify the widest possible field of qualified candidates.

Applications should comprise a full curriculum vitae along with a covering letter of application addressing the role and person specification.

Applications can be uploaded via Perrett Laver’s website at: quoting reference 6787.

The closing date for applications is Friday 6th October 2023 at 12:00 CET.

Applications will be considered by the selection committee in October and shortlisted candidates will be invited to first screening interviews in the last two weeks of October. A shortlist will be decided in November and the shortlisted candidates will be invited to 2 rounds of interviews. Selection of and negotiations with the preferred candidate and final on-site visits will take place thereafter.

EIT Food is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive work environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. We believe that diversity and equity in our workforce enriches our organization and enhances our ability to provide innovative solutions.  We are an open culture where everyone is supported to fulfill their potential.  We see inclusivity of talent as the basis of our success and the diversity of perspectives and people as a highly valued outcome.  EIT Food provides equal opportunities to all employees and applicants regardless of gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, age, neurodiversity, functional impairment, citizenship or any other aspect which makes them unique.

Protecting your personal data is of the upmost importance to Perrett Laver and we take this responsibility very seriously. Any information obtained by our trading divisions is held and processed in accordance with the relevant data protection legislation. The data you provide us with is securely stored on our computerised database and transferred to our clients for the purposes of presenting you as a candidate and/or considering your suitability for a role you have registered interest in.

Our legal basis for much of our data processing activity is ‘Legitimate Interests’. You have the right to object to us processing your data in this way. For more information about this, your rights and our approach to Data Protection and Privacy, please visit our website:

Perrett Laver is committed to providing a quality service to both our clients and candidates. If for any reason you are not satisfied with the level of service you have received from us, we would like you to tell us about it.
All complaints are taken very seriously, and any feedback is appreciated as it provides us with an opportunity to improve our standards. All complaints and feedback are referred initially to our Operations Manager. The Operations Manager sits separately from the business and is responsible for objectively reviewing and investigating any concerns you may have. If you would like to make a formal written complaint, you can contact the Operations Manager via email or by post:
Annaliese Renda, Embassy Gardens, 8 Viaduct Gardens, London, SW11 7BW