Paul Allen, the chief executive of UK crisp manufacturer Tayto Group, is to leave the company after 17 years.

During Allen’s tenure at the Northern Ireland-based, family-owned business, Tayto acquired a host of snack brands, including Golden Wonder, Red Mill Snacks, Mr Porky’s Pork Scratchings, the Real Pork Crackling Company, Portlebay Popcorn and Real Crisps.

Allen commented on his departure: “I have always been extremely proud to be part of the iconic brand that is Tayto and have considered it a privilege to contribute in some small way to its growth over the years; it will always hold a special place in my heart. I’m now looking forward to taking on new challenges.”

According to a statement late yesterday (13 February), Allen recently took over Genesis Crafty bakery in Magherafelt in County Londonderry when the company went into administration, saving almost 300 jobs. The firm supplies a range of cakes and breads to retailers and the hospitality sector across the UK and Ireland.

“My business interest has always been in working to develop and expand companies, to build security into them and to make them into long-term assets, and I look forward to doing more of that in the future, both in Northern Ireland and further afield,” Allen added. 

Under Allen’s watch, Tayto’s sister company, Bath-based Montagu Group, which specialises in vending solutions, was also formed less than two years ago. The two companies generate a turnover of around GBP250m (US$321.3m). 

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By GlobalData

The announcement of the CEO’s departure comes days after Tayto revealed another acquisition, that of start-up healthy snacks enterprise Bite UK, which will now trade as Bite UK Snacks Ltd.

Stephen Hutchinson, a member of the same family that owns Tayto, said: “We are sorry to see Paul leave. In the time he has been with us he has led the company’s growth and expansion and his dedication and commitment to the Tayto brand has been unparalleled. However, we are also very fortunate to have a team of highly-skilled individuals who will continue to run the company and it is very much business as usual.”