Premier Foods new boss ousts chief operating officer Eaton

Kasmira Jefford
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PREMIER FOODS’ new chief executive Gavin Darby has ousted the group’s chief operating officer on his first day at the helm.

The owner of Hovis bread and Mr Kipling Cakes said Geoff Eaton will leave the company with immediate effect and that the role of chief operating officer “will cease to exist” as part of a board shake-up.

Eaton’s departure follows former chief executive Michael Clarke’s shock exit last week just 18 months after he joined the group.

Shares have fallen more than 25 per cent in the week since the announcement.

Darby, the former Cable and Wireless Worldwide boss who succeeded Clarke as chief executive, yesterday said he wanted “a flatter executive management structure... that will enable commercial and functional management to report directly” to him.