Rycroft, currently chief operating officer of the Food and Drink Federation (FDF), will take up his position at the Stoneleigh-based levy board which is currently facing a series of challenges from levy payers on 31 August, replacing Jane King.
During the intervening period the interim AHDB CEO will be Ken Boyns, chief finance and operations officer.
During his time at the FDF, Rycroft was responsible for strategy and corporate affairs, as well as overseeing the federation’s policy on diet and health and on competitiveness as well as formerly working as a government special adviser.
AHDB chair, Nicholas Saphir, said the board was delighted with the appointment.
“His experience, both in his previous commercial and FDF roles as well as his knowledge of the industry, makes him ideally equipped to lead the significant change that we have started to introduce to the organisation.
“Tim will spearhead the ongoing programme when he joins us full time at the end of August, but in the meantime Tim, Ken Boyns and I are making sure that the work in progress is not held up while waiting for Tim to officially take up his new role.”
Rycroft said it was exciting to be asked to lead AHDB at such a critical moment in its history - adding that Saphir and the team had set out a bold vision for change, which now had to be delivered swiftly.