Young’s Seafood Limited has announced the appointment of Simon Smith as Chief Executive Officer.
It comes following the recent acquisition of the business by the Karro Food Group.
Simon has extensive experience of leading organisations and commercial strategies spanning brand and retailer brand across the food sector including senior roles at Diageo, Northern Foods and, most recently, as Managing Director of Seachill [the standalone seafood division of Hilton Food Group plc]. Simon will commence his role with Young’s from 21st October 2019
Simon will replace Bill Showalter who has elected to leave Young’s at the end of July. Bill Showalter joined the Findus Group [the former parent company to Young’s Seafood Ltd] as Chief Financial Officer in 2014 where he oversaw the sale of the Findus Group’s Continental European Businesses to Nomad Foods Limited.
For the past three years, Bill has led Young’s Seafood Ltd as Chief Executive Officer and has played a key role in delivering the company’s Strategic Plan securing over £200m of long-term, own label contracts with two of Britain’s leading retailers and successfully diversifying the Company through the growth of its foodservice operations and the launch of the Young’s brand in the US market.
Bill’s tenure in role culminated in the recent sale of the Company and the combination of Young’s with Karro to create a multi-protein food group with sales over £1.2bn.
Di Walker, Group CEO of Karro Food Group, said: “I am delighted to announce the appointment of Simon to the role of CEO for Young’s and am looking forward to working with him to deliver our ambitions for the Company. Simon has extensive retail experience and is known and respected throughout the seafood industry for his achievements with Seachill and the development of the Saucy Fish brand. I would like to thank Bill for his significant contribution to Young’s over the past 6 years and respect his decision to seek new challenges elsewhere now that the future of the business is secured. I wish Bill all the very best for the future. He can be proud that he leaves Young’s as the UK’s leading fish and seafood company, holding both the number one position in chilled and frozen sales.”
Simon Smith said: “I am looking forward to this new opportunity to work with Di Walker and the Capvest team to lead the UK’s largest and most diverse seafood business. Under its new leadership, the Company is ideally placed across multiple categories to truly inspire people to love fish and embed its position as the UK’s leading seafood company. I am very much looking forward to helping the business push forward with its national and international seafood ambitions”.
Bill Showalter said: “It has been a great privilege to lead such a talented and dedicated team as that at Young’s, and I would like to thank them for all the support they have given me. Having delivered the business into its next stage of ownership, I believe the time is right to move to the next stage of my career. With the acquisition by Karro, I am confident that Young’s has a strong foundation from which it can drive growth, providing exceptional quality fish and stand out innovation to countries around the world.”.
Di Walker will step into the role of acting CEO between the end of July and 21 October when Simon Smith joins Young’s.