High street bakery retailer Greggs has announced today that CEO Ken McMeikan is to stand down from his role in favour of taking up the same post at catering supplier Brakes Group.
McMeikan, who has held his position since 2008, will remain with the business until a successor is found and the hunt for a new chief is now underway and “will be announced in due course”, according to a statement from the retailer.
Derek Netherton, Chairman of Greggs, said of McMeikan’s departure: “We are very grateful to Ken for the valuable contribution he has made to Greggs.
“He has led the company through the major changes that have put us in a strong position for the future with a clear strategy for growth in a difficult environment.
“We wish Ken well in his new role.”
In recent times, Greggs has worked to extend its reach across high streets both in the UK and internationally and its growth strategy emphasise the importance of investing in shops, accessing new markets and remaining competitive in terms of its supply chain.
Commenting on McMeikan’s role within the implementation of the strategy Sanjay Vidyarthi, analyst at Espirito Santo Investment Bank, explained: “Under McMeikan Greggs developed from a group of semi-autonomous regional businesses to a more cohesive and efficient national chain, while retaining its local character.
“Greggs is at a difficult point in its evolution at the moment, with pressure on trading and decisions to be made on how best to allocate capital (store refits or roll-out).
“The timing of this departure is therefore unhelpful, though there is a strong and experienced management team underneath.”
Greggs’ board noted that “no significant change to trading” has taken place since its Interim Management Statement in October though it is hoped that the upcoming Christmas peak will help boost sales.
McMeikan said: “It has been a great honour to lead Greggs since 2008.
“It is a wonderful company with fantastic people and I am enormously proud of all that we have achieved together.
“There are many exciting growth opportunities ahead for the business and the team are well placed to deliver them.”