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Greggs chief to step down

Monday 10 December 2012 7:00

North East bakery chain Greggs has announced that its chief executive Ken McMeikan is to leave the firm to take up a new position elsewhere.

After four years in charge at the Newcastle-headquartered firm, McMeikan is to take up the position of chief executive at catering industry supplier Brakes Group.

“The recruitment of a new chief executive will now begin,” the company said in a statement this morning. “Ken has agreed with the board that he will stay in his role, and a member of the Board, whilst a successor is appointed; this will be announced in due course.

Derek Netherton, chairman of Greggs, said “We are very grateful to Ken for the valuable contribution he has made to Greggs. He has led the company through the major changes that have put us in a strong position for the future with a clear strategy for growth in a difficult environment. We wish Ken well in his new role.”

Ken McMeikan added: "It has been a great honour to lead Greggs since 2008. It is a wonderful company with fantastic people and I am enormously proud of all that we have achieved together. There are many exciting growth opportunities ahead for the business and the team are well placed to deliver them.”

McMeikan joined the firm in 2008 and has overseen a period of marked growth of the Greggs brand across the country in this period. Despite relatively flat underlying profits of late, sales growth continues and the firm is expected to have opened 90 new stores by the end of 2012.

He also spearheaded a revolt against the Government's 'pasty tax' which would have extended the 20% VAT tax to hot food.

He personally delivered a 300,000 strong petition from angry customers to Downing Street.

Other highlights of McMeikan's tenure include the launch of the Greggs Moment concept cafes and deals to sell frozen sausage rolls in Iceland supermarkets.

Kent-headquartered Brakes Group supplies to the foodservice sector in the UK, Ireland, France and Sweden.