Boparan Steps Down as 2 Sisters Food Group Chief Executive
Ranjit Singh Boparan, co-founder and owner of the Birmingham, England-headquartered 2 Sisters Food Group, relinquished the position of chief executive officer on February 28 and assumed the post of president of Boparan Holdings Limited (BHL), the parent company of 2 Sisters Food Group.
“I am fully committed to building a better, more transparent business, modernizing our company and simplifying our operations. I want to take a broader industry leadership role and concentrate more on the issues and challenges that affect not only our business, but also the food sector in general such as Brexit, social responsibility and sustainability,” said Boparan.
While primarily a poultry processing and marketing operation that typically generates sales in excess of £3 billion per annum, 2 Sisters is engaged in a number of value-added frozen food product businesses as well. However, the company recently sold its Goodfella’s and San Marco pizza brands to Nomad Foods for €225 million, and is reportedly looking for a buyer for its Donegal Catch seafood unit. Other frozen assets include Green Isle vegetables, smoothies, onion rings, chips and other potato products, and Galway Pie & Pastry products.
BHL Chairman Charles Allen, commenting on Boparan’s executive shift, remarked: “Ranjit has spent 25 years of his life building a world class food business. He has been a catalyst for change within the food industry, by challenging the norm and providing our customers and consumers with great service, great quality food, and great prices. In his new role, he will be playing to his strengths, looking at new opportunities and reducing debt that will help take the business to new levels of success.”
Employing an estimated 23,000 people and ranked as Britain’s second largest food company, Boparan’s 2 Sisters Group dealt with a wave of negative publicity last year after ITV News and The Guardian newspaper reported that one of its fresh chicken processing facilities in England engaged in unhygienic practices. The investigation led to a parliamentary enquiry during which its chief executive assured that steps would be taken to enhance surveillance and inspections.
Production disruption was attributed to a 58% decline in first quarter operating profit of approximately £8.4 million. Three money-losing poultry plants in the UK are due to shut down this year, resulting in the loss of about 900 jobs in the United Kingdom. Meanwhile, the company is upgrading profitable facilities such including its Flixton and Scunthorpe factories, which will create hundreds of new jobs.
Search Underway for New CEO
Meanwhile, a process has been put in place to find a new chief executive officer for 2 Sisters Food Group, considering external and internal candidates. Martyn Fletcher in his capacity as chief operating officer, reporting to the board, will be responsible for the operations of the business until a formal appointment has been made.
“These changes are the right ones to make at a very important stage in our business’s history and they help secure strong foundations for future development and growth,” said Boparan. “These are further major transformative steps in a journey to build a better business with a world-class leadership team.”