Blog: FMCG veteran Kankiwala joins Hovis as chairman
Dean Best | 20 May 2014
UK bread manufacturer Hovis, embarking on life under the majority control of US private-equity firm Gores Group, has named former Unilever, PepsiCo and Burger King executive Nish Kankiwala its new chairman.
Hovis's former owner, UK food group Premier Foods plc, sold a 51% stake in the business to Gores earlier this year. Premier retained 49% of Hovis but hopes housing it in a stand-alone venture will revitalise the business in what remains a challenging UK market.
In an announcement today (20 May) Gores said Kankiwala "significant consumer brand experience and a proven ability to drive value and growth".
Since 2006, Kankiwala has been CEO of baby products supplier Maybron Group. Alongside that role, he was chairman of UK baby food firm Plum Baby from 2011 and 2013.
His career includes 15 years at Unilever between 1979 and 1994 and then a decade at PepsiCo. In 2004, Kankiwala joined Burger King Corp. as president, although he left the US fast food giant a year later.
"Nish is a great addition to the Hovis board. He has significant experience and an exceptional track record of reinvigorating organisations and reinventing brands," Gores MD Fernando Goni said.
Premier CEO Gavin Darby added: "He has excellent strategic, brand marketing and leadership experience that will be invaluable to the renaissance of the Hovis business."
That experience will have to be applied immediately. Hovis operates in a very challenging UK bread market against formidable competitors like Associated British Foods and Warburtons.
And ABF, through its Kingsmill brand, has shown it remains on the front foot, with two significant pieces of innovation this year - "thinner" bagels and what it has positioned as a healthier sliced loaf, Great White.
Kankiwala has a tough task on his hands.
Today (23 December) is just-food's last day before closing for Christmas. We'll return, raring to go on Tuesday 3 January - but of course there's been plenty of top-notch content that has gone live in...
Food holding company Commonwealth Capital has opened a SGD70m (US$49m) integrated food production facility in Singapore. ...
The plethora of food manufacturing associations in the UK has been argued by some to be an impediment to the industry coming to a coherent position on the aftermath of Brexit and on what the sector sh...
An update on Amazon's plans for the grocery sector. The usually reticent retailer has this week poured cold water on claims it has plans for 2,000 physical grocery stores....
- just-food 2017 Survey - your thoughts on growth
- 2017 - what will shape the UK food sector?
- Food market in 2017: need-to-know US trends
- Food market in 2017: big foodservice trends
- Could BRF's Turkey move pave way for OneFoods IPO?
- Ferrero insists Nutella not pulled from shelves
- UK's Bakkavor plays down IPO "speculation"
- PepsiCo launches Walkers Mediterranean in UK
- Mondelez plans "selective" UK price hikes
- US targets increased organic production