Nish Kankiwala

Nish Kankiwala is the new chair of Hovis Ltd

Former Burger King boss Nish Kankiwala has been appointed executive chairman of Hovis Ltd.

The Gores Group, which bought a 51% stake in the bread business when it was split off from Premier Foods this year, said Kankiwala had “significant experience” in reinvigorating organisations and reinventing brands. He joins Hovis Ltd as sales of the Hovis brand are falling sharply, with value down 19.2% year-on-year and volume down 17.8% [IRI 52 w/e 1 March 2014].

Kankiwala is also chairman of Jeyes Holdings and has chaired baby food company Plum Foods and the Mayborn Group, owners of the Tommee Tippee and Sangenic brands. He has been president of Pepsico Beverages Europe and Burger King International, the fast food chain’s operation outside North America.

“Nish is a great addition to the Hovis board. He has significant experience and an exceptional track record,” said The Gores Group MD Fernando Goni. “He will play a key role in guiding Hovis as the company enters a new era and builds on its strong heritage. We look forward to working with him and to unlocking the full potential and value of the Hovis brand.”

Gavin Darby, chief executive of Premier Foods, which holds a 49% stake in Hovis Ltd, added Kankiwala has “excellent strategic, brand marketing and leadership experience that will be invaluable to the renaissance of the Hovis business”.

Kankiwala is to work with Hovis Ltd CEO Bob Spooner as the business increases investment to improve efficiency. Based in High Wycombe, Hovis employs 3,800 people at 10 bakeries, six flour mills and two regional distribution centres across the UK. It also makes Mothers Pride, Ormo and own-label baked products.