Kocken, who currently serves as the head of global food service in Arla, will succeed Kai Gyllström in the new role.
EVP and executive board member Peter Giørtz-Carlsen commented, "I am delighted that Cecilia is returning to the Swedish market as managing director. [...]
"Cecilia’s combination of commercial, brand and food service experience, her collaborative leadership and her commitment to driving growth through innovation made her the ideal choice to succeed Kai Gyllström and take the Swedish business to the next level.”
As the head of food service, Kocken was instrumental in creating a global team to drive excellence in food service, stepping up digital initiatives and creating strategic partnerships with chefs globally, the group said.
Before joining the food service unit, Kocken served as the head of milk, yoghurt and milk-based beverages in Arla Sweden.
Under her leadership, the cooperative boosted the sustainability credentials of the Arla brand, established The Barn as an in-house media and content agency, and transformed its milk-based beverages range.
Before joining Arla, Kocken spent 12 years in several leading positions at Procter & Gamble.
Kocken stated, "We have an amazing team in Sweden which leads the sector in innovation and customer centricity. I am excited to be leading the team on the next step in our journey as we deliver our Future 26 strategy, working hand in hand with our farmer owners on critical issue like sustainability."
Gyllström, who resigned as managing director to explore another opportunity, will leave Arla Sweden 30 April to ensure a smooth transition.
Giørtz-Carlsen thanked Gyllström for his contribution to Arla Foods since he joined the dairy co-operative in 2009 and said, "From leading our business in Saudi Arabia, setting up our Global Food Service Business, heading up Finland and latterly leading Arla Sweden.
"Kai’s dedication to the business, colleagues and farmer owners has always been 100%. I have appreciated his calm head and his leadership over the many years we have worked together. I am sad to see him leave and wish him the best in his new role."