The chief operating officer of Premier Foods plc, Geoff Eaton, has left the company as incoming CEO Gavin Darby takes up his new role.

The UK group said it had opted for a “flatter management structure” after appointing former Vodaphone and Coke executive Darby, who was named CEO last week following Michael Clarke’s surprise resignation.

Premier‘s commercial and functional management will now report directly to the CEO and the role of COO will be removed. It was therefore “agreed” with Eaton that he will step down with immediate effect, Premier said.

“I would like to thank Geoff for his contribution to the company and wish him well in his future career,” said Darby. “I very much look forward to working with the management team to continue the transformation of Premier Foods.”

Eaton, former CEO of Uniq, was appointed to the COO role in October last year in a bid to “help accelerate” the company’s transformation.

For our analysis of Premier’s appointment of Darby, who begins in his new role at Premier today (4 February), click here.


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