Budgens' chief executive John von Spreckelsen has been poached by Somerfield in a bid to turn around the fortunes of the company. Von Spreckelsen has been given the unusual position of executive chairman ­ an unusual position in most British companies who choose to give their chairmen a non-executive role. He will partner chief executive Alan Smith, who was appointed from Punch Taverns last week, replacing David Simons (The Grocer April 1 page 5). Von Spreckelsen has an impressive pedigree, being credited with turning round German retail group KAFU-Wasmund. In his nine year tenure as chief executive of c-store chain Budgens, he grew the company's market capitalisation from £22m to £124m. Von Spreckelsen said he left Budgens on good terms, but is looking forward to working with Smith in his new venture. Budgens' new chief executive is Martin Hyson, a company man through and through, serving with Budgens for 29 years. l See analysis page 14. {{NEWS }}