Patrick Müller, CEO for Milk & More holding two bottles

Source: Milk & More 

Following the completion of the deal on 1 January, Müller has transferred back to Müller UK & Ireland

Milk & More CEO Patrick Müller has left the business following the sale of the Müller UK & Ireland-owned doorstep delivery service to Freshways Group last November.

Following the completion of the deal on 1 January, Müller has transferred back to Müller UK & Ireland, where he will continue to “help guarantee a smooth transition” to Freshways in the short term. He remained tight-lipped about his longer-term plans, however.

Müller, who hails from Switzerland and is no relation to the German family that owns the dairy giant, joined Müller UK & Ireland in 2012 as its UK strategy director.

He became strategy director of the wider Müller Group in 2014, before being appointed as CEO of the formerly Dairy Crest-owned Milk & More in 2016.

Müller also served as CEO of Müller Milk & Ingredients from 2018 to 2020 and was the architect of the processor’s Project Darwin cost-cutting initiative, following more than £230m in losses during the 2017 and 2018 financial years.

How Milk & More turned into a dairy pioneer

He stepped down from this role in January 2020 to concentrate on heading up Milk & More – which enjoyed a significant uplift in membership in the pandemic, with the service now boasting 300,000 regular customers a week and another 200,000 less regular shoppers.

In an interview with The Grocer for The Dairymen 2023, Müller spoke about how he had transformed Milk & More into a tech-focused and “super-efficient” operation, offering customers a range of sustainability-focused premium grocery products.

Despite those gains, however, Milk & More has remained loss-making, leading Müller UK & Ireland to sell it to Freshways for a nominal fee in November, following an internal review.

At the time of the deal’s announcement, Patrick Müller said the sale would offer Milk & More the opportunity to “further develop its proposition for customers”, with “clear synergies” between the business and its new owners.

Freshways MD Bali Nijjar said Müller’s replacement had not been finalised. Nijjar, plus fellow Freshways directors Sheazad Hussain and Ravi Nijjar, would act as the exec team of Milk & More “to oversee any changes” to the business post-integration, he added.

Why did Müller sell Milk & More to Freshways, and what lies ahead?