New Zealand fisheries and aquaculture giant Sealord on Wednesday announced it named its first internal candidate to the chief executive officer (CEO) position, with effect from next year.

Doug Paulin, who is currently chief operating officer (COO) at the group, will move into the CEO role in October, when he and current CEO Steve Yung will work closely together through a 12 month transition period.

Paulin began his career with the Royal New Zealand Air Force, followed by 11 years with New Zealand's largest alcoholic beverage company Lion Nathan working within sales and marketing. His roles included regional sales director for the Auckland region and brands director.

He also spent two years as part of the Lion Nathan strategic team, where he led Lion’s entry to the grocery channel and five years as the CEO for breakfast cereal manufacturer Hubbard Foods before joining Sealord.

Paulin has a BCom/LLB from the University of Otago, a MBA from Henley Management College in the UK and is a graduate of the Advanced Management Program at Harvard University in Boston.

Yung has held the position of CEO for the past five years, but has been a CEO for the past 21 years.

"Yung has enjoyed leading the organization through a number of significant changes," Sealord Communications Manager Julie North told IntraFish.

"He is now looking forward to new challenges and is looking to transition to board and advisory roles where he can continue to add value in the business sector."