The firm’s Martin Deboo said: “So, Premier surprise us again and the impression of unplanned change is not helpful, to our eyes.”
Premier’s explanation that Bell left to pursue other business commitment is plausible, he added. Bell is chairman of Milk Link, which announced a merger with Arla Foods on May 22. “However, the impression of an unplanned succession is a regrettable one for us,” said Investec.
But Deboo went on to say there may be “a silver lining if Premier can attract the right replacement”.
Bell, who stepped down on June 1, was replaced on an interim basis by senior independent director, David Beever.
Commenting on his departure, Bell said:“I’m delighted that we now have the right management, strategic and financial foundations in place to drive Premier Foods’ return to growth.”
I’m confident that with Michael Clarke at the helm, the company has a bright future.”
The Board has appointed non-executive director, Ian McHoul, to take over from Beever as senior independent director.
Meanwhile, Premier’ divisional technical director Paul Molyneux has been elected chairman of the Federation of Bakers.
Molyneux, who was elected at the federation’s annual general meeting last week (May 23), takes over from Mark Fairweather, from the Allied Milling and Baking Group.
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