Former Birds Eye executive James Hill has been appointed as the new CEO of Young’s Seafood owner Findus Group.

Hill – who will join the frozen foods giant on 1 April – will fill the role vacated by Chris Britton at the end of last year.

He will join from Unilever Italy – a €1.2 billion business – where he is currently chairman.

Hill had an outstanding track record of developing businesses through imaginative brand building, tight cost control and strong leadership, said Findus Group chairman Dale Morrison. “He has in-depth knowledge of the frozen food market and considerable international experience including European coordination roles.”

Hill was previously CEO of Birds Eye Walls (a position he held for four years) and Findus Italy (which he held for a year prior to its disposal in 2010). Between 2007 and 2010, he was also CEO of a Unilever business unit which saw him manage a portfolio of European food brands outside of Unilever’s main portfolio. 

Hill said he was delighted to be joining Findus with its “great brands, strong businesses and talented people,” adding: “The recent restructuring provides a solid financial platform and I can see the potential for significant profitable growth in the future.”