A former chief executive of the Australian Wool Research and Promotion Organisation has been officially appointed as the new managing director of The Woolmark Company.

David Conners has been acting managing director of The Woolmark Company since January 1.

He has also been made chief executive of the Woolmark holding company, the Australian Wool Services.

Woolmark say Mr Conners will relocate to Europe by the end of April this year, as part of the organisation's commitment that senior staff should be closer to business partners.

The Australian Wool Services and The Woolmark Company are Australian-based companies but its operational headquarters are expected to be the former International Wool Secretariat offices in Ilkley, Yorkshire.

Meanwhile four staff working on international market development programs in Australia have lost their jobs.

The Woolmark Company says the group's five-year program, funded by the Federal Government AusAid program, was completed.

By Deborah Bowyer