DARIEN, CONN. – Norseland, Inc. announced it hired Carl Gerlach to take over as president and chief executive officer, with John J. Sullivan set to step down.

A veteran of the food industry, Gerlach has spent much of his career working in the realm of dairy. Most recently the CEO of Maple Hill Creamery, Gerlach also has worked in senior roles at Kraft Foods, Sara Lee and Unilever.

Norseland, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of TINE SA, Norway's largest cooperative of dairy farmers. The company was established in 1978 to import Jarlsberg cheese wheels to the US.

"We are very pleased that Carl Gerlach has accepted the position as CEO of our subsidiary in the US,” said Gunnar Hovland, CEO of TINE SA. “His food industry experience provides us with skills to further build Norseland, Inc. Under Carl's leadership, we will continue to strengthen our position, drive further growth and build Jarlsberg's solid brand position in our largest market outside Norway.”

Per Norseland, Inc., Sullivan will become a strategic advisor to Hovland.

Part of Norseland, Inc., TINA SA and the Norwegian Dairy Farmers for more than three decades, Sullivan served as president and CEO at Norseland, Inc. for 17-plus years. The company credited him with growing it from a sales and marketing organization to a structured end-to-end dairy company. He worked in sales, marketing, executive management and board member roles through the years.

"The privilege of leading Norseland, Inc. for our owners, the Norwegian Dairy Farmers, has been an incredible journey,” Sullivan said. “Our owners have been very supportive throughout my tenure.”

Gerlach said Sullivan built “a solid team and business,” and that he looks forward to working for the company and its customers and partners.

“There are very few global brands as strong as Jarlsberg, and I know it has what consumers want in the US market," Gerlach said.