Kraft's Bob Hagan takes the helm at RSSL

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Rssl, Cadbury plc, Kraft foods

Kraft's Bob Hagan takes the helm at RSSL
Dr Bob Hagan – who heads the global analytical network at Kraft Foods – has been appointed as the new md of Reading Scientific Services (RSSL). He replaces Kay O'Donnell.

RSSL’s role has recently been expanded to provide science and technology support to new owner Kraft on a global basis following Kraft’s acquisition of RSSL’s former parent Cadbury. But it has continued to provide consultancy, training and other services to the wider food industry.

Hagan, who has held senior commercial, marketing and R&D roles with blue chip firms including Quaker Oats and Pfizer, was previously senior vice president for science and technology at Cadbury and has been in his new post at RSSL since September.

He said: “This is an exciting time for this facility. We are already an important research organisation for our many external customers, as well as the internal customers within Kraft, and we are keen to expand our business."

Separately, RSSL’s commercial director Jacinta George has been promoted to associate director, speciality sciences, while allergens guru Simon Flanagan, formerly head of speciality analysis, has been promoted to a new role of senior consultant, food safety.

External customers

When RSSL was established in the late 1980s, its function was to provide technical outsourced solutions for Cadbury and some other companies.

However, it now conducts analysis, consultancy, product development and training work for the food and drink, pharmaceutical, healthcare and consumer goods industries.

Its site in Reading is known as the Reading Science Centre, comprising RSSL and a dedicated Cadbury/Kraft research team, which has experts in analytical, sensory and consumer science, nutrition, and novel processing technologies.

As part of a restructuring announced in May, Kraft said RSSL would house an expanded global science and technology centre supporting Kraft worldwide, while Cadbury Bournville would be transformed into a global centre of excellence for chocolate research.

Kraft also revealed plans to shut down its Cheltenham HQ and relocate commercial, administrative and other support staff to Bournville and Uxbridge.

While Kraft's European R&D centre at Munich is staying open, some jobs would transfer to the UK, said the firm.

Operational restructuring

The operational restructuring following Kraft's acquisition of Cadbury is also continuing apace, with the Polish chocolate factory at the centre of the row over the takeover now manufacturing products for the UK.

The plant, which is next door to Cadbury’s gum plant in Skarbimierz, Poland, is making products formerly made at Cadbury’s plant in Keynsham, UK.

The factory hit the headlines in February after Kraft reneged on a pledge to keep Keynsham open because Cadbury’s plans to close it and transfer production to Skarbimierz were so far advanced that it would be that “unrealistic to reverse them”.

Brain drain

Several senior Cadbury executives have left the UK business in recent weeks, including chief strategy officer Mark Reckitt and head of marketing for the UK and Ireland Phil Rumbol.

Related topics: People & Skills, Confectionery

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