Watson will be joining the business in January 2022. He will succeed John Penno, who will then be appointed as chairman when Graeme Milne retires next year.
Watson has worked in the dairy industry since 2010, including in his most recent role as Miraka’s CEO. Prior to that, he held several senior roles at Fonterra.
Milne said: “Grant has a track record of materially transforming and accelerating businesses by setting clear strategies, surrounding himself with diverse and talented people, and relentlessly driving execution to deliver strong sustainable results”.
He continued: “Prior to Miraka, Grant led the significant growth of Fonterra’s global foodservice business and has overseen the successful commercialisation of numerous value-added dairy products. This is a key part of Synlait’s strategy going forward and we look forward to benefiting from his skills and experience.”