Outgoing CFO Pardip Dass (left) and current CEO Cake Box Sukh Chamdal (right)

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Bakery chain Cake Box has brought in new blood to its board and management team as it looks to move past governance and audit problems, with co-founder Pardip Dass stepping down as CFO after more than ten years in the role.

David Forth has been appointed as interim CFO, starting today, with Dass working alongside him for a handover period before stepping down from the board on 31 March.

Cake Box also bolstered its executive team with the appointment of Richard Zivkovic as chief operating officer and Chay Watkins as marketing directors.

The moves come after the group was forced to admit to “inconsistencies” in its financial reporting in January, sending its share price tumbling more than 20%.

Forth brings more than 20 years’ experience in senior finance roles across the consumer, retail and logistics industries, including most recently as interim finance director at AB Sugar, deputy CFO of Eddie Stobart Logistics and interim transformation finance director at Wincanton.

Zivkovic will join Cake Box on 13 June from Island Poke, the ‘grab and go’ franchised food retailer, where he is chief operating officer. Prior to joining Island Poke in 2019, Zivkovic was chief operations officer at Abokado and regional operations director for London at Costa Coffee.

Following his appointment, Jaswir Singh will move into the role of commercial director and will remain on the board in the new role.

Watkins joins as marketing director from a brand strategy consultancy, where he developed brand and category strategies for large fmcg brands and multiple retailers.

Cake Box also issued a brief trading update this morning, highlighting a continued strong performance throughout the second half of its financial year to date and on track to meet full-year expectations.

The group added it continued to work through a plan of internal audit improvements based on areas identified by new external auditor BDO, with the initial focus being on inventory management.

Non-executive chairman Neil Sachdev said: “I would like to personally thank Pardip for his immense contribution over the last decade and the significant role he has played in the Cake Box growth story, including the group’s IPO on AIM in 2018.

“We are delighted to welcome David, Richard and Chay to the Cake Box family, and look forward to working with them as we continue to evolve, improve and further professionalise the business, bringing in the experience and capabilities to fulfil our growth ambitions and build on the strong trading in the second half to date.”

Dass added: “I am extremely proud of what we have achieved at Cake Box, from first beginning to franchise the business model, to listing the business on AIM. After a decade with the business, now is the right time to move on following an orderly handover to David. I remain passionate about Cake Box and a supportive shareholder, and wish my dedicated colleagues all the very best for the future.”

Shares in the group jumped 10% to 217.9p this morning as markets welcomed the news, but the stock remains some way off its January price and 2021 high of 404p.

Morning update

Markets in London opened tentatively this morning as the war in Ukraine drags on, with the FTSE 100 flat on Friday’s close at 7,154.87pts.

In food and drink, embattled McColl’s Retail Group jumped 11% to 2.2p, Danone rose 3.6% to €52.87 and Associated British Foods gained 2.7% to 1,745.5p.

Early losers included HelloFresh, down 5.2% to €35, Just Eat Takeaway, down 4.5% to 2,486.5p, British American Tobacco, down 2.3% to 2,997p, and Ocado Group, down 2% to 1,176p.

This week in the City

Interims from Virgin Wines get us underway tomorrow morning, with the week getting busier as it progresses.

Wednesday brings full-year results from posh mixer brand Fever-Tree Drinks and performance nutrition group Science in Sport, while the ONS publishing the latest official inflation figures.

Thursday is looking busy with the Deliveroo finals and a first quarter update from Ocado.

Finally, the latest GfK consumer index is likely to make grim reading on Friday morning.