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Premier Foods names new chief exec and chairman

Mr Kipling owner Premier Foods has named its UK managing director Alex Whitehouse as chief executive officer.

The business has also announced that Colin Day has been appointed non-executive chairman, and that acting CEO Alastair Murray is leaving the business. All the changes take effect from today (30 August).

Whitehouse (pictured right) joined Premier Foods in July 2014 and was appointed managing director of the grocery division two months later. He became UK managing director in April 2017 and has been responsible for leading the grocery business, which includes flavourings, cooking sauces and home baking.

Premier said Whitehouse has more than 20 years’ international, marketing, sales, strategy, innovation and general management experience.

He spent 18 years with Reckitt Benckiser where he held senior marketing and general management roles including managing director, New Zealand, and was most recently worldwide head of shopper and customer marketing.

Whitehouse said he was looking forward to working with Day and the board to drive further value from Premier’s brands.

“I'm very encouraged by the improved performance of the business over the last couple of years and see this as something we can build on further,” he added.

Day retired as chief executive of components manufacturer Essentra in 2017. He was previously chief financial officer at Reckitt Benckiser for more than 10 years. Currently a Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) board member, he has chaired the Defra audit and risk assurance committee since July 2018. He is a non-executive director and audit committee chair at Meggitt plc and Euromoney plc.

Premier’s chief financial officer Alastair Murray, who has held that role for six years and has been acting CEO following the departure of Gavin Darby in January, has agreed to leave the business and step down from the board.

"On behalf of the board I would like to thank Alastair Murray for his outstanding contribution to the business, both as CFO and more latterly as acting CEO, and wish him all the best for the future,” said senior independent director Richard Hodgson.

Duncan Leggett, group director of financial control and corporate development, will become acting chief financial officer pending a permanent replacement for Murray.


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