Regarded as a business turnaround specialist, Steve Francis was appointed as boss of Tulip in September 2016. Since then, he has led the company in the successful implementation of phase one of a long-term business transformation.
Under Francis, Tulip was restructured into four dedicated divisions – Tulip Agriculture, Tulip Fresh, Tulip Food Company (UK) and Dalehead Foods. He was also credited for rebuilding its management team, with around half of the top 60 directors and senior managers new to the business.
Tulip Food Company, which is made up from the business’ food processing sites, returned to profit during Francis’ spell, Danish Crown said.
Meanwhile, last year’s acquisition of Easey Holdings cemented Tulip Agriculture’s position as the leading high-welfare pig farming operation in the UK, it added.
A planned move
In a planned move following the successful completion of the first phase of the business transformation, Danish Crown chief executive and chairman of Tulip, Jais Valeur, will take on the role of executive chairman of Tulip.
He will work with the Tulip executive team in the day-to-day running of the business.
Valeur said: “Steve leaves Tulip in a far stronger state than when he arrived, and I would like to personally thank him on behalf of the Danish Crown board for his outstanding contribution.
“Customer relationships are back to health and their confidence in our business has been restored. Employees are much more engaged in the strategic direction of the business and we have strong governance and leadership in place across all four divisions.
‘Much improved trading performance’
“And, critically, Tulip has moved on from recording significant weekly losses to a much improved trading performance.”
Valeur claimed Tulip would now move into “the next, lengthier phase” of its turnaround programme, which was to rebuild the customer portfolio lost over previous years and restore the company position as the UK industry leader.
“My role will be to work with the executive team within Tulip to ensure we continue on the journey we have embarked upon ourselves and leverage for our customers all the opportunities we have through closer co-operation within the wider Danish Crown group, in order to deliver world-class performance levels.”