He joins from Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), the €13.5bn revenue US milk marketing co-op in Kansas, where he is currently chief operating officer.
DFA is a milk marketing co-op and dairy food processor with substantial cheese, ingredients, and flavours businesses. Carbery reported turnover of €340m in 2016, and earnings of €37m, up from €35.3m in 2015.
Mr Hawkins will take over from Dan MacSweeney, who is to retire at the end of December 2017 after 25 years as Carbery CEO. Carbery Group works with the four West Cork milk supplier co-ops of Bandon, Barryroe, Drinagh, and Lisavaird.
“I have, for a long time, admired Carbery as an organisation and am very much looking forward to further developing the successful business which the excellent team at Carbery Group has built,” said Mr Hawkins, who is originally from Tralee, Co Kerry, an accountant who has also worked extensively in the US in senior roles with Kerry Group.
He was previously Kerry Group’s president of beverages, brands, and taste for North America, leading growth and profitability in key markets and channels.
Peter Fleming, chairman of Carbery Group, said: “Jason’s background with Kerry’s global ingredients business combined with his experience at DFA make him very well suited to build on the strong foundations that are in place at Carbery. I am confident that under his leadership the business will continue to grow and develop in the years ahead.”
Jason is married to Mary and they have three boys, Ronan, Cathal, and Killian. They are currently living in Kansas City but will be relocating to West Cork as he assumes his role as CEO at Carbery in the new year.