Samworth Brothers Simon Wookey

Samworth Brothers COO Simon Wookey will start as CEO on 1 July

Samworth Brothers has parted ways with CEO Hugo Mahoney and promoted a new boss from within its ranks, The Grocer can reveal.

The Leicestershire-headquartered food manufacturing giant behind the likes of Ginsters, Higgidy and Soreen confirmed Mahoney was leaving the group to “to pursue other opportunities”.

Chief commercial officer Simon Wookey will take the reins as the new boss on 1 July following a transition period.

Wookey has been in the food industry for 35 years, joining Samworth as an executive board director in January 2019.

He previously worked at publicly listed sandwich maker Greencore for 20 years, holding a variety of senior commercial and managing director positions.

After leaving Greencore, Wookey joined Maple Leaf Foods in Canada as president of its prepared food business, spending four years in the country before returning to the UK in 2012, where held several senior positions at 2 Sisters Food Group, including managing director of its convenience business.

Samworth poached Mahoney from foodservice giant Brakes in 2022 to succeed retiring Flor Healy.

Chairman Mark Samworth said: “Under Hugo’s leadership the business continued its recovery from Covid and its aftermath and rose to the challenge of successfully managing and mitigating significant inflationary pressures.

“With the executive team, he has reset our business strategy and has refined our operating model and ways of working to help us better act as one Samworth Brothers with our customers and suppliers.

“Samworth Brothers is well positioned for the future, and in the years to come the business will benefit from his development of our modernisation programme. Hugo has made a significant contribution to the performance of our business, and we wish him every success in the future.”

The latest management changes follows Charles Noble taking up the role of CFO in 2023 to replace Steve Bailey, who retired at the end of the year.