Yates became property director of Iceland Frozen Foods, which later became part of The Big Food Group, in
November 1984 and worked closely with Malcolm Walker, the founder and chief executive officer of Iceland, until Walker’s departure in January 2001.
Walker set up rival venture Cooltrader with Andy Pritchard, the former financial director of the Iceland Group. He said Cooltrader would have 10 stores open by Christmas, all in the north west of England and planned to add 10 more next year. “Iceland had 84 stores when Tim joined the company and 760 when he left. He was responsible for acquiring nearly all of those extra sites. He has an encyclopaedic knowledge of every high street in the UK and is hungry for a new challenge. His role will be to grow Cooltrader aggressively.”
Yates said: “It’s exciting to be starting a new adventure with a young company. I shall enjoy being at the coalface doing what I do best - acquiring sites.”
Yates has been replaced at The Big Food Group by John Reynolds who will join on December 1.
He moves from McDonald’s Restaurants where he was head of property.