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Oscar Mayer and Samworth Brothers announce senior hires

By William Dodds

- Last updated on GMT

Amanda Wright, Nigel Hebron and Gordon Walsh  have all joined Oscar Mayer. Credit: Oscar Mayer
Amanda Wright, Nigel Hebron and Gordon Walsh have all joined Oscar Mayer. Credit: Oscar Mayer

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UK-based food manufacturers Oscar Mayer and Samworth Brothers both made senior appointments during October 2023.

Oscar Mayer welcomes three new team members

Own-brand packaged ready-meals manufacturer Oscar Mayer has confirmed the appointments of three new senior figures in the business – chief financial officer Nigel Hebron, chief commercial officer Gordon Walsh and group procurement director Amanda Wright.

The appointments come just four months after Ian Toal joined the firm as chief executive in June of this year. All three will report to Toal.

New financial lead Hebron possesses strategic and operational experience in several large organisations, with a record of delivering results in growth, revenue, operational improvements, and profitability. He has worked for Vion Food Group, Intersnack UK, Calbee UK, Kinnerton Confectionery, Natures Way Foods and most recently at Wholebake Limited.

Meanwhile, Walsh has worked in the food industry for more than 19 years, 10 of which were spent with Ornua during a period when the brand enjoyed significant growth. Over the past 18 months, he has worked with Sainsburys and several other businesses with a focus on delivering partnerships.

Finally, Wright has a strong pedigree in procurement within the food sector, having held senior roles with Zertus UK, Amazon, Bakkavor, 2 Sisters Food Group and Northern Foods.

Toal said that both he and chair Clive Sharpe are “delighted​” to welcome the trio to the business.

We are confident we now have a team to move Oscar Mayer on towards the next step in our development, providing sustainability in both value and service to our customers and improving our supply chain efficiencies​,” added Toal.

We are building on our reputation for excellent quality ready meals and for innovating in partnership with major brands throughout the UK​.”

Founded in 1985, Oscar Mayer employs more than 2,260 people across three sites in Erith, Wrexham and Flint, and is a long-standing partner to many UK supermarket chains.

Samworth Brothers confirms new financial chief for 2024 start

Chilled and ambient foods producer Samworth Brothers has confirmed that Charles Noble will become the group’s chief financial officer from 2 January 2024.

Noble will take over from Steve Bailey, who is set to retire at the end of 2023 after more than five years with the company. In addition to his position as chief financial officer, Noble will also join the group executive board at Samworth Brothers.

Prior to joining the group, Noble fulfilled the roles of chief financial officer and finance director at firms such as Genesee & Wyoming, McCormick and Unilever, while he currently works for AB Sugar. Looking forward, Noble will place a keen focus on the continued modernisation of the Samworth Brothers business as it moves towards 2030 and beyond.

In his time with Samworth Brothers, the outgoing Bailey acted as a “key member​” of the board, helping to steer the firm through unpredictable trading conditions. This has allowed it to take part in a significant programme of capital investment which will fund a series of growth and modernisation projects.

Speaking to the departure of Bailey, chief executive Hugo Mahoney said: “With his own sense of humour and personable style, Steve moved us strongly forward in areas such as forecasting and planning, cash management, risk and commercial analysis, as well as providing leadership to IT and other support teams. We will be sorry to see him go, and he leaves with our very best wishes for the future​.“

In other news, UK potato supplier Branston has announced that it is opening a new mash potato facility at its main site in Lincoln​.

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