JAMES Hill is to step down as head of the company which controls Young’s Seafood, it was announced today.
The move follows the sale two months ago of the Findus Continental and Scandinavia operations to Nomad Foods, which also owns Birds Eye frozen foods in the UK.
A statement said the board of Young’s Seafood International Holdings (the ‘Holdings Group’), formerly known as the Findus Group, was announcing important leadership and governance changes.
Hill (pictured), currently chief executive officer of the Holdings Group, will step down from his position with effect from December 31 in order to pursue alternative opportunities outside the group.
He joined in April 2013 and will retain a non-executive role as an adviser to the Young’s Holding Group board.
Bill Showalter, currently chief financial officer of the Holdings Group, is assuming the responsibilities of CEO in addition to his existing duties. This will include financial control and corporate governance over the group’s remaining operations.
However, no changes will be made at the (Grimsby based) operating company level, where Pete Ward continues to hold full executive responsibility for the affairs of the company, as chief executive of Young’s Seafood (the ‘Operating Company’).
Dale Morrison, chairman of the Holdings Group board, said today: ‘I’d like to thank James profusely for his contribution to the group. Under his leadership, we have been able to grow turnover and profit in each of the last three years, make important acquisitions and participate in a landmark transaction within the European food industry – no mean feat for a company that had previously endured challenging times.
James Hill said: ‘I’ve thoroughly enjoyed these last three years and I am proud of what the team has achieved.
‘Having driven significant growth, and following the sale of the international Findus business, now is the right time to move on.
‘I’d like to give very best wishes for the remainder of the group, our dedicated and committed employees, and those who will lead the company.
‘I look forward to helping to facilitate a smooth transition and to contributing through a non-executive role on the board.’
Bill Showalter said: ‘I am delighted to be taking on this additional responsibility and to continue working closely with Pete Ward.
‘Young’s Seafood Limited is a great company, with a strong brand, a talented team, supportive shareholders and a bright future ahead of it.’