Bega Cheese has announced executive chairman Barry Irvin will take time away from his role to recover from what has been described as serious surgery.
The company issued a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange on Friday acknowledging news reports concerning Mr Irvin's health.
The reports noted a letter to suppliers last week where Irvin said he had received "sobering news", and he urged readers to visit their doctors regularly.
"Like many people, sometimes I get my priorities wrong and focus too much on work and not enough on my health," he said.
"Unfortunately a recent check up has resulted in the need for me to be immediately hospitalised for surgery and it is likely I will take a few months to recover and to potentially receive further treatment."
In the company's statement to the ASX, they confirmed Mr Irvin was recovering from surgery.
"The business of the company will operate as usual under its strong board and executive team, who will support Mr Irvin through his period of recuperation," the company said.
Mr Irvin said the Bega team would continue to conduct supplier meetings as usual under Max Roberts.
On Sunday chief executive Paul van Heerwaarden said the company will open the 2019-20 season with a farmgate milk price of $6.60 a kilogram of milk solids.