Former Heineken managing director named C&C Group CEO

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Former Heineken md David Forde will head up C&C Group in the new year
Former Heineken md David Forde will head up C&C Group in the new year

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Magners Cider owner C&C Group has appointed former Heineken managing director David Forde to head the company as its new chief executive.

Forde will join the business from early 2021 at the latest after spending 32 years with Heineken. His appointment followed an intensive recruitment campaign by C&C, which saw Forde unanimously voted as the board’s preferred candidate.

Before being named managing director in 2013, Forde worked his way up through Heineken in a number of senior roles. In 2007, he became general manager of the brewer’s UK operation and moved on to become managing director of Heineken Ireland in 2009.

Interim executive chairman Stewart Gilliland said: “Following a thorough evaluation of exceptional candidates for the position, we believe David has the requisite blend of brands, distribution and pub sector expertise to maximise the potential of our iconic brands and optimise the potential of our distribution capabilities.”

Continuing in the role  

Gilliland will continue in the role of interim executive chairman until Forde joins the business, at which time he will revert to the role of non-executive chairman.

Commenting on his appointment, Forde said: “I am extremely excited to be joining C&C, a company with great people, loved brands and a world-class distribution infrastructure. I look forward, together with my new colleagues and the board, to further building the business into the future.”

In addition, the board has extended his role as non-executive chairman by an additional 12 months until the AGM in 2022, which it hoped would provide continuity in the business’ leadership.

C&C has also promoted current group strategy director Patrick McMahon to the role of group chief financial officer (CFO), with effect from 1 September 2020.

CFO retirement

His appointment followed current CFO Jonathan Solesbury’s announcement of his intention to retire from his position. He will step down from the role at the group’s next annual general meeting on 23 July but will remain with the group until September to ensure a smooth transition.

On McMahon’s appointment, Gilliland added: “In Paddy we have a group CFO with an inimitable understanding and experience of our business. His progression through senior leadership positions within the business and integral role in the transformative Matthew Clark and Bibendum transaction make him the natural successor to Jonathan and ideal fit for this position.

“The board would like to thank Jonathan for his significant contribution to C&C over the past three years and we wish him well for the future.”

Meanwhile, Kerry Foods chief executive Duncan Everett has left the chilled foods manufacturer to head up egg processor Noble Foods.

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