Taylor, who left the Cadbury owner last year to pursue non-executive roles, will head up a board that includes Montezuma’s founders Helen and Simon Pattinson – who are stepping away from the day-to-day management of the business – and a yet-to-be-appointed managing director.
The formation of a board followed last November’s acquisition of majority stake in the business by Edinburgh-based private equity firm Inverleith for an undisclosed sum.
Following the acquisition, Montezuma’s announced plans to expand its distribution both in the UK and abroad, and focus on chocolate innovation. Its leading brands include the vegan Like No Udder range and the 100% cocoa Absolute Black.
Joining the board as a non-executive is Paul Skipworth, Inverleith managing partner and former chief executive of The Glenmorangie Company. Skipworth is accompanied by Inverleith operating and brand director Michael Atkinson.
Chocolate shop in Brighton
Montezuma’s was founded in 2000 when the Pattinsons set up their first chocolate shop in Brighton. Operating from a factory in Chichester, West Sussex, the company now manufactures chocolate bars, truffles and gifting products. It also runs a Chocolate Club and has shops in London and the south east.
Taylor began his career at Kraft Foods, where he spent 12 years working within commercial functions.
He went on to join Kellogg’s in 2006, initially as head of convenience and foodservice, before rising to become UK sales director. In 2010, he was handed the additional role of general manager for UK Snacks.
Taylor moved to Mondelēz in 2011, initially as the field sales director for the UK. In 2014, he became managing director for Mondelēz in the Nordics, before taking up the role of managing director for the UK and Ireland in 2016.
‘A company with exciting potential’
Taylor said: “Montezuma’s Chocolates is a company with exciting potential and I am looking forward to working closely with the founders, Inverleith and a new executive management team to see this brand become a household favourite in the UK and in other countries where its qualities are yet to be discovered.”
Helen and Simon Pattinson added: “We are absolutely delighted that Michael is joining Montezuma’s. He brings a wealth of experience and expertise within the chocolate and wider FMCG industry, both within the UK and Europe.
“With his strong commercial background, we believe that Michael will be a great appointment as chair of the board, helping to guide and steer Montezuma’s as we look to continue to drive the success of the brand, both in the UK and internationally.”
Inverleith’s majority stake acquisition in Montezuma’s follows similar investments in milk-alternative brand producer Good Hemp and retail chain Planet Organic.