Nish Kankiwala

Nish Kankiwala

Hovis chief executive Martyn Wilks has announced his retirement and is set to leave the business on 13 May 2016, one year after he took on the role. His position will be filled by executive chairman Nishpank Kankiwala with effect from 16 May. 

A one-time president of PepsiCo Beverages Europe and Burger King International, Kankiwala joined Hovis two years ago, shortly after it separated from Premier Foods. 

He had been instrumental in the creation of Hovis Ltd as a standalone concern, said the company, adding the continuity of Kankiwala’s leadership would enable a smooth transition for the Hovis executive team and the wider business.

Kankiwala is a former chairman of Jeyes Holdings and has also chaired babyfood company Plum Foods and the Mayborn Group, owners of the Tommee Tippee and Sangenic brands respectively. 

He said: “Hovis would like to thank Martyn for his time and commitment to the business, and for the contribution he has made during his time here. We wish him all the best for the future.”

Wilks’ decision to step down from his role at Hovis will bring to a close a career spanning over 30 years and including stints with Mars and Dairy Crest. He plans to spend more time with his family and increase his involvement with the governing body of the All England Netball Association, where he is currently a non-executive director.

He exits the bread brand as sales are down 17.7% to £288.7m [Nielsen 52 w/e 2 January 2016].