Gavin Darby appointed new CEO of Premier Foods

Premier Foods has appointed Gavin Darby as its new CEO following the resignation of Michael Clarke, commencing 4 February.

Prior to joining Premier Foods, Darby held the title CEO of Cable & Wireless Worldwide, following a role as CEO of Vodafone’s non-European joint ventures and spending 15 years at the Coca-Cola Company in senior leadership roles.

Premier Foods chairman David Beever said: “I am delighted to welcome Gavin Darby to Premier Foods. His strong FMCG background and management track record make him the ideal candidate to lead the company. The board very much looks forward to working with Gavin to continue driving sustainable profitable growth at Premier.”

Although stepping down from the board immediately, and after only 18 months on the job, Clarke has agreed to remain available to Premier Foods until mid-2013 to make sure the transitional period runs smoothly.

Beever added: “Michael Clarke and the team have done a first class job in stabilising the business, strengthening its balance sheet, divesting non-core businesses and generating momentum. This is a significant achievement in a challenging market and I would like to thank Mike on behalf of the board for his contribution.”

Clarke will proceed to pursue other business opportunities, after having delivered the initial turnaround of the company and further set a course for sustainable and profitable growth.

Commenting on the announcement, Darby said: “I am very excited to be taking on this role. Although markets remain difficult, I look forward to working with the team to develop and grow the company’s Power Brands in the coming years.”

“Premier Foods has great potential and I fully intend to invest a significant personal sum in the shares of the company after the full-year results are published in February, which the company will match,” he added.