Greggs pinches new CEO from Punch Taverns - UPDATE

High Street pastry and baked goods retailer Greggs said Thursday that Roger Whiteside, the current Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Punch Taverns, will become its next CEO, having announced in December that Ken McMeikan is leaving the post in March.

High Street pastry and baked goods retailer Greggs said Thursday that Roger Whiteside, the current Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Punch Taverns, will become its next CEO, having announced in December that Ken McMeikan is leaving the post in March.

Whiteside, who will take up the role from February 4th, has been a Non-Executive Director of Greggs since March 2008 and will leave Punch Taverns in February.

Derek Netherton, Chairman, said: "We are delighted to announce the appointment of Roger as Chief Executive. Not only has he got considerable management experience in retailing and food but also, as a Non Executive Director of Greggs during a period of significant change, he has been involved in developing the strategy.

"He is very well respected within the company and his appointment will enable a smooth transition in what is still a challenging consumer environment."

Whiteside will step down from the Punch Taverns board on February 1st. The pub group has appointed Stephen Billingham as Executive Chairman and Neil Griffiths as Chief Operating Officer, with immediate effect, and said that consequently a new Chief Executive Officer will not be appointed at this time.

Stephen Billingham has been Non-executive Chairman since September 2011. Neil Griffiths has been Punch's Property and Turnaround Director and has been with the group since 2001. He has 25 years' experience in the leisure and hospitality industry having held senior management roles in Warner Brothers and Bass.

The board assured investors that its current trading performance remains in line with its expectations.

Stephen Billingham, Chairman, said: "I would like to thank Roger for his significant contribution to the group over the last four years. Roger and the board have set out a clear operational plan to return the core estate to growth and maximise value from our non-core assets.

"I am confident that with the appointment of Neil Griffiths as COO and with the experienced management team in place at Punch we will continue with the progress we are making in delivering on these key strategic goals."

The share price of Greggs rose 0.97% to 479.60p, while that of Punch Taverns fell 2.22% to 11p by 09:00.

NR

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