Northern Foods chief leaves after being left out of new Essenta board

Marion Dakers
THE CHIEF executive of Northern Foods will quit at the end of the week to join food wholesaler Brakes as head of UK operations, the firm said yesterday.

Stefan Barden’s announcement comes a week after he was left out of the board of new company Essenta, which will be formed from a merger of Northern and Greencore next year if shareholders and regulators approve.

It had previously been thought that Barden would remain at Northern as interim chief executive until the merger was complete in the second quarter of 2011.

Barden would have been entitled to a years’ salary, or £477,000, as a severance package. However, it is thought he will receive a five-figure sum instead due to his early departure.

Northern said finance director Simon Herrick will act as chief executive before becoming finance chief at Essenta.

Herrick said yesterday that shareholder feedback to the merger plans had been positive so far.