After a two-month transition period, Kers officially took the reigns as new CEO on August 1 and has wasted little time in setting out his aspirations for the future.
Kers said: “My vision is to build 2 Sisters into a leading international food business, trusted and respected by all stakeholders. We need to be passionate about creating delicious, great value food and be inspired by what we can achieve. The responsibility that comes with this means that we continuously need to set the bar higher and deliver for our customers, consumers and ourselves. The journey to create this future has started.”
His first 100 days have been taken up with an assessment of the opportunities for the group and creating the new initiatives he plans to put in place.
“2 Sisters can capitalize on global trends that can take us to the next level. Poultry is a growth market so fundamentally attractive. Consumers are also increasingly looking for healthy, convenient and affordable food, and both our poultry and our non-poultry businesses deliver this," he said.
“The rise of ‘retailer own brands’ is another big opportunity. These are becoming the biggest brand in the world and if we can use our scale and expertise, we can stay ahead of our competitors and succeed in the longer term.”
Framework for Success plan
Kers' "Framework for Success" plan includes key elements such as the formation of a transformation team; an acceleration of the turnaround of all poultry operations in the U.K. and Europe, and the merger of its U.K. Poultry and Added Value divisions.
Current U.K. Poultry Managing Director Keith Packer will lead the merged divisions, with operational support from Director Antonio Boparan, who will also head up subsidiary Amber Foods.
Kers said: “The foundations of our business have already been built by Ranjit and I do not intend to change these. So our direction of travel around supporting our profitable businesses in our ‘heartland’, improving execution, reducing cost and building a better organizational culture will continue. There is so much opportunity for our business, and I have received tremendous support from Ranjit (Boparan, president of parent company Boparan Holdings Ltd.), and all colleagues so that we can make this happen. I am keen to bring a new shape to the business so execution and delivery are the best that they can be.
“A merged poultry operation will help deliver end-to-end solutions from farm to fork and also for us be more aligned across fresh and added value poultry, something our customers are increasingly asking for. And a dedicated transformation team will be focused on driving business change for the benefit of all managing directors, but without the distraction of the ‘day-to-day’ operations,” he said.
Other changes include:
- After 37 years in the food sector, Group Technical Director Chris Gilbert-Wood has decided to retire in 2019. As a result, the Group is hiring Greencore Group Technical Director Helen Sisson. Helen will join the business in early 2019.
- Commercial Director Frank Robinson will leave in November and handover to Dan Howell, who takes up the role after 10 years at Muller, most recently as Commercial and Strategy Director for Muller Milk & Ingredients.
Kers added: “Building a high performance organization means we need the right leaders in the right roles in our business. I am delighted to get Helen and Dan on board to lead the journey to becoming a high performance organization based on discipline, agility and accountability”.
“I know Dan very well from my time at Muller and also the high regard retail customers have for him. Helen’s reputation as one of the UK’s most well-respected technical leaders is well known and it’s a real coup to have her at 2 Sisters. They will help us to get the next level.
“Clearly we are undergoing a period of rapid change and I do know that sometimes the pace of change can be unsettling. However, we need a laser-like focus on doing things differently, and with discipline, we can achieve our goals to turnaround our core business, set it up for future profitable growth and strengthen our balance sheet.”