People on the move

Related tags Corporate governance Managing director

Our periodic round-up of personnel moves within the food production
and packaging industry includes the high-profile appointment of a
new chairman at Unilever and the creation of a new division at
Supreme Plastics.

Patrick Cescau​ is due to replace Niall FitzGerald, the 59-year-old Irishman, as chairman of Unilever​ at the end of the month.

Cescau, who is also a non-executive director of Pearson, is currently head of Unilever's food division and a member of its executive committee. Like his predecessor, he has spent all his working life at the soap-to-sausages manufacturer.

He has his work cut out. The Anglo Dutch food giant shocked investors yesterday by lowering expectations for year profit growth to under five per cent. The company, which last year reported a turnover of nearly €43 billion, blamed stiff competition and poor weather for the pessimistic forecast.

Analysts say that Cescau's most urgent task is to change the group's culture and cut bureaucracy. It is widely accepted that the group needs to become less defensive and more entrepreneurial - though some worry that Cescau lacks the flair, charisma and communication skills of his predecessor.

Anther massive manufacturer in a spot of bother is Coca-Cola​. The soft drink maker warned that third-quarter profits would fall short of analysts' expectations.

However, this has not deterred the company from awarding its new chairman and chief executive, E. Neville Isdell​, a $1.5 million annual salary with a target bonus of $3 million a year.

Isdell replaced Doug Daft earlier this summer with promises that he would turn the company around.

Within the equipment supplier sector, pump manufacturer Pursuit Dynamics​ yesterday added Rooney Anand​ as a non-executive director.

Anand was the managing director of brewing at Greene King, and Pursuit Dynamics chief executive John Heathcote believes that Anand's brewing expertise and his food background - he was also formerly managing director of Sara Lee Bakery UK - will help the company strengthen its expertise in food production.

And finally, Supreme Plastics Group​ has merged two of its divisions, Malpack and Brayford Plastics to create a new enlarged division - Supreme Flexibles. The division will be headed by director David Harrison​, who has spent four of his ten years in the packaging industry with the Supreme Plastics group.

The new division is designed to provide quick response, short to medium-run work, and will concentrate on the production of resealable packaging.

Related topics Processing & packaging

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