Patisserie Valerie CEO resigns

Patisserie Valerie has appointed Stephen Francis as its chief executive officer with immediate effect following Paul May’s resignation, which comes only weeks after shareholders approved a rescue deal for the café chain

Paul May, who ran the cake shop’s parent company, Patisserie Holdings, resigned on 15 November with immediate effect, and has been replaced by Stephen Francis, a turnaround specialist.

Since 2005, Francis has completed four successful operational turnarounds of businesses with revenues ranging from £2bn to £200m. He was recently CEO of Tulip Ltd, the UK's largest integrated farmer and producer of pork, where he led the return from significant losses, rebuilt the management team and completed growth acquisition.

Prior to that, he led the turnaround of Danwood Group as group CEO, restoring the credibility with stakeholders, re-building the management and transforming the profitability of the company. He has also held turnaround roles at Vion Food Group and Vita Group. Francis has also held a number of senior roles at Barclays Capital, PwC and McKinsey.

Luke Johnson, chairman of Patisserie Holdings, said: ‘I am delighted to welcome Steve Francis as new CEO at Patisserie Holdings PLC. He has a strong track record of restoring value in turnaround situations, especially in the food industry, and the board looks forward to working with him in the revival of the business.’

Francis was also a director of Paramount Food Limited which went into administration in October 2012 and liquidation in January 2015. He was not a director at the time; however, he resigned within the 12 months prior to the company entering administration.

Report by Amy Austin

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