Bakery group ARYZTA has proposed the appointment Gary McGann as its chairman, replacing Denis Lucey who is retiring. 

McGann serves as chairman of betting group Paddy Power Betfair and is also a director of Smurfit Kappa Group, Green REIT, and MPS. Prior to this, he served as CEO of Smurfit Kappa Group, as well as CEO of Aer Lingus, CEO of Gilbeys of Ireland and group financial controller of Ericsson Ireland. Aryzta said Gilbeys of Ireland and group financial controller of Ericsson Ireland. Aryzta said McGann has “extensive experience in leading, managing and governance of major global businesses”.

The company also announced the appointment of Prof. Rolf Watter as a non-executive director, replacing Shaun Higgins. Prof. Watter is a partner at the Zurich law firm Bar & Karrer specialising in M&A, capital market transactions and corporate governance.

Commenting on the proposed appointment, retiring chairman Lucey said: “The board is delighted to have secured the services of Mr. McGann and Prof. Watter. Gary and Rolf bring a wealth of experience, expertise and capability which will serve the board and the shareholders.” 

The appointments are subject to shareholder approval.

Alain Oberhuber, an analyst for MainFirst that covers Aryzta, said: “We think that the market expects that the new highly regarded person in the Irish community can positively influence the strategy of Aryzta.”

The bakery company is set to publish its annual results next Monday (26 September). Revenue for the first nine months of Aryzta’s financial year rose 2.8%. Stripping out foreign exchange and the impact of M&A, revenue inched up 0.5%.