Burch Family Wines chief executive and 40under40 winner Anthony Wilkes is making a move into beef with his appointment to Yeeda Pastoral Company, which takes effect next month.
Yeeda runs 80,000 head of cattle in the Kimberley, including the Brahman and Charolais breeds, with an abattoir near Broome.
The company operates five stations with about 3 million hectares of pastoral land, including the Yeeda Station, Kilto Station and Alice Downs Station.
Mr Wilkes has been in the agribusiness industry since 1995, when he worked as an export analyst with Heytesbury.
He has also served as chief executive of TBG Agri Holdings, Ferngrove & Killerby Wines and Palandri Wines.
He will replace Jack Burton, who co-founded Yeeda in the early 1990s and has led the company since.
Yeeda chair Mervyn Key said he was confident Mr Wilkes would deliver the company’s vision.
“Mr Wilkes is a highly accomplished and proven leader in agribusiness who has gained significant experience across the full value chain, from growing and manufacturing to domestic and international sales,” he said.
“Most importantly, Anthony has a strong track record of developing and leading teams of people to excel.
“Anthony will bring a great mix of professionalism, leadership, inspiration, operational experience and passion to Yeeda.
“He has exceptional business vision and is a strong and collaborative leader of geographically and culturally diverse teams.”
Mr Wilkes said it was an opportune time for agribusiness.
“Yeeda operates its cattle and protein business in the Kimberley, one of the cleanest environments in the world, and is therefore ideally placed to service customer demands from fast-growing neighbouring markets," he said.
“Yeeda’s processing facility is uniquely situated in the middle of a large and high-quality cattle producing area, providing a wonderful opportunity to work collaboratively with cattle producers to grow the company’s business in a socially responsible manner.
“I am joining a business with great market recognition and look forward to taking Yeeda to the next level.”