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Thu 15th Nov 2018 - Paul May replaced as Patisserie Holdings chief executive by turnaround specialist
Paul May replaced as Patisserie Holdings chief executive by turnaround specialist: Patisserie Holdings chief executive Paul May has resigned with immediate effect. May has been replaced by Stephen Francis, who was until recently chief executive of Tulip, the UK’s largest integrated farmer and producer of pork. Patisserie Holdings stated: “Steve is a strong leader and experienced turnaround chief executive with a proven track record of rapid operational performance improvements. Since 2005, Steve has completed four successful operational turnarounds of multi-site, international businesses with revenues ranging from £2bn to £200m. Steve was recently chief executive of Tulip, the UK’s largest integrated farmer and producer of pork, where he led the rapid return from significant losses, rebuilt the management team and completed a major growth acquisition. Prior to that, he led the turnaround of Danwood Group as group chief executive, restoring the credibility with stakeholders, rebuilding the management and transforming the profitability of the company. He has also held turnaround roles at Vion Food Group and Vita Group. Stephen has also held a number of senior roles at Barclays Capital, PricewaterhouseCoopers and McKinsey.” Chairman Luke Johnson said: “I am delighted to welcome Steve Francis as new chief executive at Patisserie Holdings. He has a strong track record of restoring value in turnaround situations, especially in the food industry, and the board looks forward to working with him in the revival of the business.” The resignation of May comes after the company suspended its shares as it announced a shock £40m black hole in its finances last month. Finance director Chris Marsh, who was arrested and released on bail, resigned from the company at the end of October. Johnson scrambled to find emergency funding to keep the company afloat, and admitted at a shareholder meeting this month the business had been within three hours of collapse. Investors voted through a rescue deal at the meeting, where Johnson was accused of spreading himself too thin. He has reportedly agreed to give up some of his other directorships and forego his £60,000 annual salary at Patisserie Holdings.


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