RGF founder resigns after share value drops

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Real Good Food founder and executive chairman Pieter Totté resigns, as shares dip to a seven-year low
Real Good Food founder and executive chairman Pieter Totté resigns, as shares dip to a seven-year low

Related tags Non-executive director Corporate governance

Bakery ingredients manufacturer Real Good Food’s (RGF’s) founder Pieter Totté has resigned from the company, a week after issuing a profits warning as the company’s shares fell to their lowest value since 2010.

Totté founded the company in 2003 and acted as non-executive director until November 2009, when he became executive chairman.

His resignation was one of a number of changes to RGF’s board of directors announced today (August 8).

RGF has appointed Harveen Rai as finance director and company secretary, effective from August 14. She will replace David Newman, who has stepped down from the board with immediate effect.

‘Orderly handover’

Newman will remain with the company for a period of time in order to ensure an “orderly handover”, ​said RGF.

Rai brings 20 years of experience in fast moving consumer goods companies, previously serving as chief financial officer at frozen bakery supplier Arzyta UK Holdings. Prior to this, she spent 10 years working with catering firm LSG Sky Chefs.

Non-executive director Pat Ridgwell has assumed the role as interim chairman until a permanent chairman can be appointed, while Christopher Thomas – currently a non-executive director – has assumed the role of executive director.

The company also appointed Hugh Cawley as a non-executive director, with immediate effect. He will also take on the role of head of RGF’s audit committee.

Management shakeup

RGF’s management shakeup followed a £3M fall in expected earnings​ before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA).

Two substantial sugar purchase agreements had not followed through this year, said RGF, meaning it wouldn’t hit its forecast profit figures.

Share prices dropped 42.5% in value to 20.7p in early trading last week (August 1) – its lowest value since May 2010.

A delay in injection of funds had postponed the manufacturer’s expansion plans and – combined with “slightly softer trading conditions”​ in the first quarter – had lowered its EBITDA forecast for the 12 months to March 31 2018, said RGF.

Meanwhile, global confectionery giant Mondelēz International has appointed Dirk Van de Put, current president and ceo of McCain Foods, to succeed Irene Rosenfeld as ceo​ – effective from November.

Real Good Food board changes

Saying goodbye

  • Pieter Totté​ – founder and executive chairman
  • David Newman ​– finance director and company secretary

Saying Hello

  • Harveen Rai​ – new finance director and company secretary
  • Hugh Cawley​ – non-executive director

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