Ronnie Bell has chaired his last meeting of the board of struggling foods group Premier Foods. He will be replaced on an interim basis as Chairman by the group's Senior Independent Director, David Beever.
Bell has only been in the chair at Britain's largest food manufacturer, famous for brands such as Hovis, Mr Kipling and Sharwoods, for 21 months but it has been a tumultuous time as the group struggled to cope with its mountain of debt, built up by an acquisition spree under the previous management team.
Earlier this year the group announced plans to slash 5% of its workforce and in March it secured a refinancing package.
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The group is no stranger to board room upheaval with the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer all having headed for the door in the last year or so.
Bell's exit statement suggested he now thinks the group has the right management team in place to steer the company through what remains a tricky trading environment, although questions will be asked about the abrupt nature of his departure.
"I'm delighted that we now have the right management, strategic and financial foundations in place to drive Premier Foods' return to growth. Having set a course to turn the company around, I believe it is an appropriate time to step down," Bell said.
The board has appointed non-executive Director, Ian McHoul, to take over as Senior Independent Director while David Beever is Chairman.
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