Former Co-op boss joins Noble Foods and other appointments

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Steve Murrells has joined Noble FOods as a non-executive director
Steve Murrells has joined Noble FOods as a non-executive director

Related tags appointments fresh food

Former Co-op chief executive Steve Murrells has joined egg processor Noble Foods as non-executive board director, as Kingsland Drinks Group and Bulk announce senior appointments.

Murrells boasts an impressive career in the food and drink industry, having held executive positions at Tulip, Tesco and Sainsburys.

He joined The Co-op in 2012 as chief executive of its food division, before moving to the position of chief executive of the whole group in 2017. Murrells stepped down from the role in March 2022.

In his new role with Noble Foods, Murrells will work alongside the board and executive team to “guide the business forward in what continues to be a challenging, but progressive, climate”​.

Commenting on his appointment, Murrells said: “This is a purpose-led business, with a strong focus on their people, animal welfare and their impact on the planet.

“Strengths which are deeply important to me. I’m delighted to have joined the team and been welcomed so warmly. Over 100 years since the business first began, now is truly an exciting time to join the Noble Foods family”.

Trudi Ryan’s retirement

The onboarding of Steve Murrells coincided with the retirement of non-executive director Trudi Ryan. Trudi’s history with Noble began in 1994, when she advised former owner Peter Dean and his executive team at Deans Foods.

Sarah Dean, chair of Noble Foods, added: “I would like to thank Trudi for all her support to the Dean family over the years, culminating in her recent position on our Board.

She has been instrumental in shaping the leadership team and the culture change within Noble Foods in the last four years and I wish her well in her retirement.”

In other food and drink appointment news, Kingsland Drinks Group has made two appointments to strengthen its insights team – Michelle Wilkinson joins as category manager and Fiona McClure takes on the role of consumer and insights executive.

Wilkinson will be responsible for overseeing instore and online category management, with McClure supporting her and the wider team on market, category and shopper insight projects.

Both will report into Charles Overin, head of marketing, brand and insights and will work alongside Jenna Burbidge, insights manager.

‘Expansion and investment’

Charles says, “Michelle and Fiona join the company during a period of significant expansion and investment, and our strong insights team plays a key role in the immediate and future growth of the business. 

“It's brilliant to have people with their capabilities and experience joining the team at this prosperous time. They will be a great asset to us as we continue to strengthen our established product range and bolster our position in the marketplace as an own label and branded supplier. 

This past week also saw, nutrition brand Bulk has appointed Billie Bradberry as chief marketing officer.

Bradberry has been charged with overseeing the planning, development and execution of Bulk’s marketing strategy to reinforce its overall brand position.

Prior to joining Bulk, Bradberry held senior marketing leadership positions at Formula One, QuikSilver and Chelsea Football Club, and spent more than 11 years with energy drink brand Red Bull.

Adam Rossiter, chief executive of Bulk, said: “We’re thrilled to have the exceptionally talented Billie join the team, and Exec Board, as CMO. Her experience is second-to-none, having worked at Red Bull, Chelsea FC, Formula One, W-Series and Quicksilver.

“Billie will be pivotal in driving further success across our marketing strategies; further unlocking the enormous potential Bulk has to continue to dominate the active nutrition space. We have an exciting future ahead.”

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