Steve Challouma, currently UK marketing director, is to become general manager for the UK business on 1 January 2020.
Reporting into Hudson, Challouma will be responsible for Birds Eye, Goodfella’s, Aunt Bessie’s and all own-label business in the UK.
Having worked at Birds Eye for 23 years, Challouma is credited with the integration of Aunt Bessie’s and Goodfella’s businesses following their respective acquisitions by Nomad Foods, owner of Birds Eye, in 2018. He became UK marketing director in March 2017.
In addition to his current role, Hudson will take on responsibility for the Findus businesses in the Nordics as part of the creation of a UK, Ireland and Nordics cluster.
Transformation and growth
In the four years Hudson had been MD, Birds Eye said its UK business had been “transformed”. This included a revised strategy that led to three years of growth, and the acquisitions of Goodfella’s and Aunt Bessie’s, which doubled the size of the UK & Irish businesses.
Birds Eye claimed it had been the catalyst for a return to growth of the overall frozen food category in the UK.
Hudson claimed to be “incredibly proud” to have been a part of the Birds Eye team over the past four years, with “each and every colleague” playing a part in the transformation of the business in the UK.
He said: “I look forward to continuing to work with Steve, along with my colleagues in the Nordics, as we continue our journey to become a leading global consumer food company.
“Steve holds infinite experience and an understanding of our company and the frozen food market.
“Most recently, he has played a key role in the integration of the Aunt Bessie’s and Goodfella’s businesses and this new role recognises the significant contribution he has made to the overall business.”
Challouma’s new challenge
Challouma said he was “looking forward” to embarking on the new challenge.
He added: “In the last two years, we have really shifted the dial in UK frozen foods with our distinctive brand campaigns, relaunch of our core icons and category leadership. The addition of Goodfella’s and Aunt Bessie’s in 2018 has added significant scale and breadth to the business.
“I am personally very passionate about the frozen foods category and its relevance for modern day lifestyles – and look forward to working to build on the successful turnaround and foundations that Wayne has led with the team over the last few years and to continue to realise its undoubted further potential for growth.”