PETE Ward has stepped down as chief executive of Young’s Seafood with immediate effect.
He has spent 38 years with the company so the news has come as a major surprise. Young’s said in a statement that it was announcing important leadership and governance changes.
As part of those changes Ward is leaving his position as chief executive of Young’s UK business operations.
Bill Showalter, CEO of the parent international business, is taking on the role on an interim basis.
It has been a difficult year for Young’s, which lost a big salmon processing contract to Marine Harvest last year, but has pulled in new business to partly compensate for that loss.
Ward has worked at Young’s since the 1970s and has spent more than 24 years in board level positions.
This decision follows the completion of a strategic review of Young’s, led by Ward, which focused the business on driving top line growth through new commercial strategies, innovation, and a greater emphasis on foodservice and exports.
Having put the plan into action, championed the company’s Virtual Integration strategy and established a strengthened and expanded operating board capable of delivering the company’s new strategy, Ward said he now wishes to pursue opportunities outside of Young’s to promote the UK seafood industry as a whole.
Showalter, currently CEO of the parent company Young’s Seafood International Holdings, will assume the responsibilities of chief executive of the operating company, Young’s Seafood, in addition to his existing duties until a new chief executive is announced.
Showalter has more than 28 years’ experience working in the seafood, food and consumer facing industries.
He joined Young’s in 2013 and was appointed CEO of Young’s Seafood International Holdings in January 2016.
He said: ‘I’d like to thank Pete for his contribution to Young’s Seafood Limited. Under his leadership, we have been able to build a strong business, develop a great leadership team, establish Young’s Virtual Integration strategy and complete the company’s strategic review.
‘The company is the number one UK seafood processor, and Pete’s vision and drive have been invaluable in achieving this success.
‘Our focus continues to be on inspiring people to love fish now and for generations to come, and on providing great service to our customers and consumers.’
Ward said: ‘Young’s has been a huge part of my life for the past 38 years. My commitment to the seafood industry, and the local communities in which we are located, continues to be important to me and I will now be able to dedicate more of my time to these priorities.’
By Jenny Hjul
Source: Fish Update
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