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Imperial Brands (IMB) has appointed former Bacardi and Cadbury executive Stefan Bomhard as its new CEO, replacing Alison Cooper.

Bomhard joins from global distribution and retailer in the premium and luxury automotive sectors Inchcape, where he has served as CEO since 2015.

The FTSE 100 tobacco firm announced in October 2019 that Cooper would step down once a suitable successor was found. Given today’s announcement, Cooper has stepped down as Chief Executive and as a Board director with immediate effect.

Bomhard will join “at a date to be announced”.

Dominic Brisby currently divisional director, Americas, Africa, Asia and Australasia, and Joerg Biebernick, divisional director, Europe, will assume the roles of joint interim CEOs, reporting directly to chairman Thérèse Esperdy until Stefan’s appointment.

Esperdy commented “After a thorough search process, which attracted strong, high calibre interest, the Board is delighted to appoint Stefan as CEO of Imperial Brands. Stefan has significant experience across multiple consumer sectors and within large multinational organisations, particularly in brand building and consumer-led sales and marketing.

“He has demonstrated strong strategic and operational leadership and has developed a track record of delivering successful transformational change during his tenure at Inchcape. Stefan takes on the CEO role at a significant point in Imperial’s development and the board is confident that his experience and expertise will drive the business forward. Stefan’s initial priorities will be to strengthen performance and enhance shareholder value.”

Bomhard commented: “I’m delighted to be joining Imperial as the next chief executive. I believe the business has a great future and I’m looking forward to working with the group’s employees to maximise the opportunities that lie ahead and build a stronger, more sustainable business.”

Before joining Inchcape, Bomhard was President of Bacardi Limited’s European region and was also responsible for Bacardi’s Global commercial organisation and Global Travel Retail.

He has also served as chief commercial officer of Cadbury after being chief operating officer of Unilever Food Solutions Europe. This followed senior management and sales and marketing roles at Diageo (Burger King) and Procter & Gamble. He is also a non-exec director on the board of catering giant Compass Group.

Meanwhile, Imperial further announced that Matthew Phillips has stepped down as chief development officer and as a Board director with immediate effect.

Morning update

Just Eat (JE) will cease trading on the London Stock Exchange this morning, to be replaced by Just Eat, despite the ongoing investigation by the CMA into the merger of Just Eat and

Jitse Groen, CEO of Just Eat commented: “Today’s listing on the London Stock Exchange marks the beginning of a new era for our company. The Just Eat merger provides the scale that is a necessary condition to remain competitive in a globalised environment.

“Our ambitions, however, reach much further. It is our intent to lead the sector, which not only means delivering the absolute best product for both consumers and restaurants, but also a dedication to our social responsibility.

“Following the CMA’s discretionary decision to conduct an investigation into the merger, we will work quickly to respond to their questions. As said, we are confident merger clearance will be obtained.”

On the markets this morning, the FTSE 100 has edged up 0.2% to 7,303.3pts.

Early risers include Bakkavor, up 1.9% to 138.4p, Britvic (BVIC), up 1.8% to 942.5p and Marks & Spencer (MKS), up 1.1% to 178p.

Fallers so far include Greencore (GNC), down 0.8% to 243.7p and British American Tobacco (BATS), down 0.3% to 3,346p. 

This week in the City

This week looks to be a quieter week after a flurry of results last week.

It’s a quiet start to the week, with only Imperial Brands’ AGM in the diary on Wednesday.

Thursday brings a Q1 update from Compass Group (CPG) ahead if its AGM, Q3 results from Tate & Lyle (TATE), interim earnings from property investor Supermarket Income Reit and Stock Spirits’ (STCK) AGM.

Globally, Coty will release its interim results on Wednesday, while Thursday brings full year results from Kelloggs (K) and Philip Morris, interims from HAIN Celestial and Q1s from Weetabix owner Post Holdings and Tyson Foods.

In non-company news, the BRC-KPMG retail sales for January will be out first thing tomorrow, along with the latest monthly Kantar and Nielsen grocery sales figures.

The monthly PMI figures for UK manufacturing, construction and services are also out this week, starting with manufacturing this morning.