In a market statement on the development, Greencore said pending the appointment of a new CEO, Gary Kennedy, non-executive chair, would take a more active role in the business following Coveney's departure.
"Chief commercial officer, Kevin Moore will assume the role of deputy chief executive with immediate effect. In the intervening period, Patrick will continue to lead the executive team as CEO."
Kennedy said: "On behalf of the board, I would like to express our deep gratitude to Patrick for leading the business for the past 14 years and for transforming Greencore into the UK's leading convenience food business. We wish him well in the future."
Greencore has begun the search process to appoint a new CEO. In the meantime, the company said its management team would continue to focus on the priorities of the business and update the market on its performance and prospects in its full-year 2021 results statement on 30 November.
Simon Smith leaves SSP in December
Coveney's appointment at SSP follows the announcement on 14 July 2021 that Simon Smith planned to leave the business in December. Jonathan Davies, in his role as deputy CEO and chief financial officer, will lead the group executive committee and oversee day-to-day business before Coveney joins.
Coveney has been the group CEO of Greencore since 2008, after more than two years as chief financial officer. Under his leadership, Greencore transformed into an international leader in value added convenience food, most notably in food-to-go.
He delivered a strong track record of growth, combining organic and strategic expansion, forging deep, long-term partnerships with Greencore’s customers across the UK, US and Europe. He has also been instrumental in driving significant cultural change, building capability, developing people, and embedding sustainability into Greencore’s strategy.
Prior to joining Greencore, he worked for nine years at McKinsey & Company in Europe and North America. Patrick serves as a non-executive director of Glanbia plc and Core Media.
'Strong and strategic leader'
Mike Clasper, chair of the board at SSP, said: “We are pleased to announce the appointment of Patrick who will join us as we emerge from the pandemic with considerable momentum. Patrick is a strong and strategic leader, combining this with proven financial and operational experience in some of the most competitive categories in the food sector.
"His customer and colleague focus make him ideally placed to lead SSP to future success. Patrick will be well supported by Jonathan Davies, who together with the executive committee and board will ensure we complete a smooth transition.”
“On behalf of the board, I would also like to take the opportunity to thank Simon for his significant contribution to the group during his time at SSP."
Coveney said: “I am absolutely delighted to be appointed as SSP’s next group CEO as it builds back from the pandemic. The business has a strong board, a highly experienced leadership team and thousands of dedicated colleagues across the world. It also has a clear strategy, deep relationships with client and brand partners, and a robust balance sheet.
"I look forward to working with the teams to seize the many opportunities that lie ahead and to delivering future growth and returns for SSP and its shareholders.”