Richard Walker

Richard Walker has been appointed executive chairman of Iceland Foods, taking over from his father Malcolm Walker, who is stepping down from the role, The Grocer has learned.

Malcolm Walker, who founded the family-owned frozen food specialist in Oswestry in 1970, will remain on the board as founder, the company confirmed.

Richard, who has been MD since 2018, and who co-runs the business alongside Iceland CEO and co-owner Tarsem Dhaliwal, will also take over as chair of the Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

“Richard is really looking forward to presiding over the executive board while continuing to fulfil his direct responsibilities for Iceland,” said an Iceland spokeswoman.

Richard Walker has made no secret of his desire to pursue a career in politics. Throughout his time as MD he has been a regular face on TV talk and radio shows, highlighting issues including food poverty and plastic waste, and is a member of the government’s business advisory council.

In October, it was reported that his name had been added to the list of approved Conservative Party candidates to stand as an MP in the next election, leading to speculation as to how this would affect his role at the company, were he to be elected.

He joined Iceland 11 years ago, first working on the shop floor, and as a store manager in Twickenham, before moving into head office roles. Walker is also the chairman of property developer Bywater Properties, which he co-founded in 2006.