Premier Foods takes on former Kraft boss to revive its fortunes

PREMIER Foods has appointed former Kraft boss Michael Clarke in a bid to breathe new life into the company.

Clarke will succeed Premier chief Robert Schofield on 1 September.

He became head of Kraft’s European business in 2009, where he played a leading role at the heart of the controversial takeover of Cadbury, after which Kraft performed a U-turn on a pledge to keep a UK factory open, which sparked fierce criticism. Before Kraft he was president of Coca-Cola for northwest Europe. Previously he worked for Reebok in Asia.

Premier, the maker of Hovis and Mr Kipling’s cakes, has struggled with debt problems and last month warned of a fall in first half profit.

It sold its Quorn division as part of a strategy to reduce debt.

Panmure analysts said Clarke had “the brand credentials” that the company needed.