MEAT and Livestock Australia head Scott Hansen has announced his resignation from the company to take up a position with the New South Wales government.
Mr Hansen will leave MLA on March 1 to take on the role as NSW Department of Primary Industries director general.
"I have been extremely privileged to work for a company of committed and dedicated staff, passionate about creating opportunities for Australian livestock producers," Mr Hansen said.
"It has been a great honour working with the MLA Board and the staff to deliver and advance MLA's programs, including Meat Standards Australia, our investment in genetics including Breedplan and Lambplan, and our global marketing activities to create new customers for Australian beef and lamb."
MLA Chair Dr Michele Allan expressed the company's disappointment in the resignation announcement on Tuesday. Mr Hansen has worked in MLA for 10 years.
"The Board and I expressed out thanks to Scott for his commitment to the industry and the company," she said.
"We are very supportive of Scott and congratulate him on his new role as he embarks on the next phase in his career.
"We are very pleased he will maintain a connection with the meat and livestock industry and look forward to working with him in his new role."
Dr Allan paid tribute to Mr Hansen's dedication and commitment to the MLA, paying particular attention to his successes in the past two-and-a-half years.
She said interim arrangements will be in place after March 1.
"As we begin the recruitment process, the Board is conscious that the management team is focused on delivering their programs of work to benefit levy players and as such, Christine Gilbertson, one of the directors, will be acting as managing director in the interim," Dr Allan said.
"The Board has asked Christine to step into this role as we look for a permanent managing director because of her strong background in the industry and experience as a senior manager."
Recruitment will begin this week.