Premier Foods

The Best in British Food


Our leadership team consists of the Board of Directors and the Group Executive.

Executive Directors

Gavin Darby Chief Executive Officer Toggle
Gavin Darby - Chief Executive Officer

Gavin was appointed Chief Executive Officer in February 2013. Gavin has a strong consumer goods pedigree and extensive senior leadership experience. He spent fifteen years at the Coca-Cola Company in various senior positions, including Division President roles for North West Europe and Central Europe. Prior to joining Premier Foods, Gavin served as CEO of Cable & Wireless Worldwide plc, leading a successful turnaround of the business before negotiating its eventual sale to Vodafone plc. Previously he worked at Vodafone plc for nine years, during which time he served as UK CEO and CEO of Americas, Africa, India and China.

Alastair Murray Chief Financial Officer Toggle
Alastair Murray - Chief Financial Officer

Alastair Murray was appointed Chief Financial Officer in September 2013. Prior to joining Premier Foods, Alastair spent ten years at Dairy Crest Group plc as Group Finance Director, where he helped lead a significant restructuring to simplify the business, creatively addressing its pension deficit and reinforcing its position as an industry leader. Previously he was the Group Finance Director at The Body Shop International plc. Earlier in his career Alastair was a Divisional Finance Director at Dalgety plc and spent 13 years in various finance and operations roles at Unilever plc. He graduated from Cambridge University with an MA in Engineering and also holds an MBA from Cranfield Institute of Technology. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.

Non-executive Directors

David Beever Chairman Toggle
David Beever - Chairman

David joined the Board as a non-executive director in January 2008 and was appointed Chairman in June 2012. After qualifying as a Chartered Engineer, David has spent most of his career in the financial sector. He was a Vice-Chairman of S. G. Warburg where he handled many corporate finance transactions for major UK and international companies. He was later a board member of KPMG and Chairman of Corporate Finance and has been Chairman of several major companies.

Charles Miller Smith Non-Executive Director Toggle
Charles Miller Smith - Non-Executive Director

Charles joined the Board as a non-executive director in June 2009. Charles was an International Adviser at Goldman Sachs International from 2001 until 2005. Charles worked with Unilever plc for over 30 years, the last five years of which he served as a Director of Finance and then Foods. Charles was Chief Executive Officer and then Chairman at ICI plc from 1994 to 2001. He has served as non-executive director of Midland Bank and HSBC Holdings PLC and served as Chairman of Scottish Power plc between 2000 and 2007. Charles is also Chairman of Firstsource UK Ltd and is a director of Firstsource Solutions Ltd.

Ian Krieger Senior Independent Director Toggle
Ian Krieger - Senior Independent Director

Ian joined the Board as a non-executive director in November 2012. Ian has a wealth of business, accounting and finance experience gained during a 40 year career, first with Arthur Andersen and, from 2002, with Deloitte. He was a senior partner of Deloitte until his retirement in 2012. Previous management responsibilities included heading the Corporate Finance Practice, the London Corporate Audit Division and the Private Equity Practice. Ian has significant boardroom experience and has worked with a wide variety of companies throughout his career, including many in the consumer goods sector. Ian qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Arthur Andersen. Ian is a non-executive director at Safestore Holdings plc, a trustee at Nuffield Trust and is also a Trustee of Anthony Nolan where he is Chairman of the Audit Committee.

Jennifer Laing Non-Executive Director Toggle
Jennifer Laing - Non-Executive Director

Jennifer joined the Board as a non-executive director in October 2012. Jennifer has over 30 years experience in brand building and communications including 16 years with Saatchi & Saatchi, twice as Chairman of the London office, and culminating in her role as Chairman and CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi North America. In the early 1990s she led her own advertising agency, Laing Henry, which was subsequently sold to Saatchi & Saatchi. Jennifer is currently a non-executive director of InterContinental Hotels Group plc where she chairs the Corporate Responsibility Committee.

Pam Powell Non-Executive Director Toggle
Pam Powell - Non-Executive Director

Pam joined the Board as a non-executive director in May 2013. Pam has more than 20 years marketing experience developing some of the world’s leading consumer brands. Most recently, she was the Group Strategy and Innovation Director for SAB Miller, one of the world’s leading brewers. Pam spent nine years at SAB Miller in senior management roles during which time she helped transform the marketing performance of the Company, including the development and implementation of the first Group-wide commercial strategy. Prior to that Pam held numerous marketing roles in the home and personal care sector during a 13 year career at Unilever plc, culminating in her role as global Vice President of the Skin Care category. Pam is also a non-executive director at A.G. BARR p.l.c.

Group Executive

Ian Deste Commercial Director, Grocery Toggle
Ian Deste - Commercial Director, Grocery

Ian joined the Group in September 2011 as Group Sales Director and was appointed as Commercial Director Grocery in November 2012. He previously spent 20 years with Coca-Cola Enterprises Ltd (CCE), including nine years as a member of the GB board. Most recently, Ian held the position of Vice-President, Sales and Customer Development, prior to which he held other senior positions in sales, marketing and communications at CCE. In his early career, he worked in the beer and tobacco industries. Ian is responsible for marketing, innovation and sales of our ambient grocery and cake portfolio. This includes, all aspects of commercial strategy and customer management, and the delivery of revenue, profitability and market-share metrics for the Grocery brands.

Mark Hughes Group Procurement Director Toggle
Mark Hughes - Group Procurement Director

Mark joined the Group in 2007 following the acquisition of RHM. Mark joined RHM in 2003 as Divisional Services Director (Bread Bakeries) and became a member of the Bread Bakeries Division Executive in 2004, and was Group Procurement and Logistics Director and a member of the Group Executive of RHM in 2006. Mark was previously director at Archer Daniels Midland Milling (UK) and has held a number of senior positions with Associated British Foods plc. Mark's key responsibilities are the control and risk management of c. £1.3bn of spend on ingredients, packaging, energy, machinery, facilities, engineering, marketing and all corporate spend. Responsibilities include ensuring the Group remains competitive and well placed within a changing market through the provision of innovative procurement processes, policies, stakeholder engagement and external supplier relationship management.

Richard Johnson Group Corporate Affairs Director Toggle
Richard Johnson - Group Corporate Affairs Director

Richard joined the Group in October 2011 as Group Corporate Affairs Director. Previously, Richard had spent a total of 18 years with Kraft Foods (now Mondelez International) during which time he held senior corporate affairs roles across a number of businesses and geographies, including the UK, Belgium and the US. Most recently he was Corporate Affairs Director for Kraft Foods' European business based at the company's headquarters in Switzerland. He was also Vice-President Corporate Affairs for McDonald's Europe and earlier in his career, he worked for the Food and Drink Federation. Richard's key responsibilities are leading the Group's internal and external communications, media relations, public affairs, sustainability and community relations activities.

Brian Leach Supply Chain Director Toggle
Brian Leach - Supply Chain Director

Brian was appointed Supply Chain Director in April 2014. He joined Premier Foods in 2009 as Head of Manufacturing with specific responsibility for our Canning operations. In June 2012 Brian was appointed Operations Director - Grocery, with responsibility for 8 manufacturing sites, distribution and logistics. Prior to joining Premier Brian held multi site Operations Director roles in Heinz and Coca Cola Enterprises and started his career at Kelloggs where he progressed initially through engineering and latterly into Operations Management. Brian's responsibilities cover all aspects of operational leadership to ensure we meet our safety, cost, quality and service objectives.

Andrew McDonald General Counsel & Company Secretary Toggle
Andrew McDonald - General Counsel & Company Secretary

Andrew joined the Group in November 2011 as General Counsel & Company Secretary. Prior to this he held the same position at Uniq plc, before its acquisition by the Greencore Group. Andrew is a qualified solicitor and worked as a corporate lawyer at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer before moving into industry. He is a law graduate of Manchester University. Andrew has responsibility for the legal, company secretarial and internal audit functions and is actively involved in business development and key operational issues facing the business. He is on the steering group of all corporate and strategic projects pursued by the Group. He also supports the Chairman with the management of the Board to ensure it fulfils its corporate governance obligations.

Mark Vickery Group Information Systems & Change Director Toggle
Mark Vickery - Group Information Systems & Change Director

Mark joined the Group in early 2005 as Director of Information Systems & Change Management (ISC). Following the acquisition of RHM, he assumed the role of Group ISC Director. Mark started his career at Unilever plc where he spent 17 years working in a number of businesses and geographies. He then moved to United Biscuits as IS Director prior to joining Premier Foods. Mark's key responsibilities include managing the Information Services function and delivering major system and change programmes into the business.

Alex Whitehouse Group Strategy Director Toggle
Alex Whitehouse - Group Strategy Director

Alex joined the Group in July 2014 as Group Strategy Director. Alex has more than 20 years senior international, marketing, sales, strategy, innovation and general management experience gained across multiple geographies. He spent the last 18 years with Reckitt Benckiser plc where he held senior marketing and general management roles including Managing Director, New Zealand and most recently Worldwide Head of Shopper & Customer Marketing. Earlier in his career, he held a number of retail management positions with Whitbread plc. Alex’s responsibilities are to ensure the Group capitalises on the growth opportunities identified as part of our three year business plan and to strengthen and align the Group’s organisational capabilities and structures to deliver our strategic objectives.

David Wilkinson Human Resources Director Toggle
David Wilkinson - Human Resources Director

David was appointed Human Resources Director in July 2014. He joined Premier Foods in 2007 as Head of Group HR, with responsibility for the corporate and group functions, as well as Resourcing and HR Administration. In December 2011 David was appointed Director of HR Support, and in January 2013 he became HR Director of the Hovis Bread and Milling division, with responsibility for 5,000 employees across 22 sites. Prior to joining the Group, David was Head of Human Resources for Renault UK and Nissan Motor GB, and has held a number of senior HR roles at Nestle UK, Granada, and J Sainsbury PLC. David's responsibilities cover all aspects of HR, with specific emphasis on developing talent and capability, resourcing and reward, as well as overall leadership of the Human Resources function.

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