Rolling back the (Schofield) years...

By Ben Bouckley

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Robert schofield, Cadbury plc

When the dust settles, what will the verdict be on the Schofield years? We review key dates during the outgoing ceo's tenure, starting with the key decision to buy Campbell's UK for £460m in 2006, and ending with the announcement of his departure yesterday.

Yesterday marked the end of an era for UK food manufacturing, with the announcement that Robert Schofield, Premier Foods ceo since January 2002, would be stepping-down in favour of Kraft Foods' rising star Mike Clarke.

Below we've highlighted some of the key dates from the Schofield years, and you can click on the circular buttons for links and further information. N.B Some Mac users have reported browser compatibility issues, so if you cannot see the timeline, click here​.

Some analysts and investors trace Premier's recent problems to a febrile acquisition market in the late noughties that culminated in its £1.2bn purchase of RHM in 2007.

Wounded by its failure to take over United Biscuits, many believe Premier paid over the odds for businesses (and a large brand stable) that it found difficult to digest, especially when the recession took hold.

Asked about Schofield's position in March, one City analyst said “It wouldn’t surprise us if Schofield moved on, because he’s seen as one of the architects of decline."​ Premier is giving a right royal send off to its king, although many see Clark as a 'white knight' riding in to the rescue.

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