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Greggs names new chief exec

Thursday 24 January 2013 7:14

Bakery chain Greggs has named its new chief executive ahead of current CEO Ken McMeikan’s planned departure from the firm in March.

The Newcastle-headquartered plc has appointed Roger Whiteside, current chief executive of leisure giant Punch Taverns, to the helm of the group and he will take up the role from 4 February.

Whiteside has been a non executive director of Greggs since March 2008 and in his current chief executive role heads up one of the UK's largest leased pub companies with a portfolio of around 4,500 pubs nationwide.

The 54-year-old has wide ranging experience in retail and began his career at Marks & Spencer where he spent 20 years, ultimately becoming head of its food business.

He was then one of the founding team of Ocado, and served as joint managing director from 2000 to 2004.

From 2004 to 2007, he led a successful business turnaround as chief executive of the Thresher Group off-licence chain, before joining Punch Taverns.

Greggs chairman Derek Netherton said: "We are delighted to announce the appointment of Roger as chief executive. Not only has he got considerable management experience in retailing and food but also, as a non executive director of Greggs during a period of significant change, he has been involved in developing the strategy.

“He is very well respected within the company and his appointment will enable a smooth transition in what is still a challenging consumer environment."

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ken for his leadership since joining Greggs in 2008. Despite the double-dip recession, the company has grown its core estate significantly, opening record numbers of new shops in a variety of locations and formats, and entering new channels to market through franchising and wholesaling.

“He has also considerably enhanced Greggs' commitment to putting the community at the heart of the business. Ken will leave us with our very best wishes for his continued success in the future."

Roger Whiteside said: "I joined the Greggs Board in 2008 and I have been impressed with the team, which I have got to know well. I look forward to working with them to further develop our strategy. Greggs is a great business with an iconic brand that has strengthened considerably over the past few years. I believe we have a great future."