Di Walker joins Karro Food Group as Executive Chair
Karro Food Group Limited (“Karro”), one of the leading suppliers of British pork into the retail and foodservice sectors, is delighted to announce the appointment of Di Walker as Group Executive Chair, with effect from 1 October 2013.
Di joins Karro from Greencore Group plc (“Greencore”), a £1.2 billion turnover international manufacturer of convenience foods, where she was Chief Operating Officer. Di joined Greencore in 2004 as Managing Director of the chilled sauce and soups category and led several successful business turnarounds, delivering strong revenue and profit growth. In 2009, Di was appointed to the group board as UK Chief Executive. Prior to Greencore, Di held a number of senior roles in Hazlewood Foods and Hibernia Foods, having started her career in Asda as a Graduate trainee undertaking a number of buying and marketing roles including the areas of bacon, sausage and cooked meats.
Di’s appointment follows a successful first six months for Karro since its management buyout, which has seen the business accelerate its return to profitability. The Group also recently secured a new £60 million funding package from GE Capital, which underpins its growth strategy, providing Karro with immediate access to additional working capital and greater capacity to invest in the business alongside the existing support from its private equity investor Endless LLP.
Di Walker said on her appointment: “I am delighted to be joining Karro at such an exciting time for the business. Karro is one of the key suppliers of British pork in the UK, delivering all stages of pork production, from farming through to slaughter, butchery and processing. At a time when “affordable provenance” is vital for customers, Karro is ideally positioned to be a leader in this area.”
“The foundations of the Karro business are strong, with well-invested facilities and an experienced and loyal workforce. I intend to build on this and focus on the consumer proposition, working closely and in partnership with our customers.”
Aidan Robson, Investment Director at Endless LLP, said: “We are delighted to welcome Di to lead the board and her appointment reflects the ambitions we all share for the business. Di brings with her huge experience in the food sector and her appointment adds to the momentum already being achieved, ensuring that Karro continues to focus on the needs of its customers, invests in its product offering and builds on its strong market share.”
Di Walker’s appointment follows shortly after the appointment of Brian Stein as Non-Executive Director at Karro. Brian was previously Chief Executive Officer of Samworth Brothers and was recently awarded a CBE in the Queen’s birthday honours list for his contribution to the Food Industry.