Birds Eye chief exec rejects top job offer from struggling Premier Foods

THE chief executive of the frozen food producer Birds Eye Iglo, Martin Glenn (pictured), has rejected a swoop to make him chief executive at Premier Foods.

Premier, the owner of the Hovis and Mr Kipling brands, is using headhunters to find a replacement for Robert Schofield, who is leaving the company.

Glenn has run Birds Eye since soon after it was bought by Permira, the private equity firm, in 2006, and was approached over a potential move to Premier, which issued a profit warning last week. It is understood that some shareholders are pressing for a new chief to be appointed quickly so that the ship can be steadied. Glenn, a former chief executive of Pepsico in the UK, is a respected figure in the food industry. Premier would not comment on its recruiting process but a source said yesterday said it was “making good progress” in hiring a new leader.

Meanwhile Warburg Pincus, the private equity group that owns more than 20 per cent of Premier, is understood to be among investors open to the idea of Schofield being replaced on an interim basis by Tim Kelly, the company’s chief operating officer.

Premier’s shares closed up 9.5 per cent at 18.7p yesterday.