Carol Welch is to become A.F. Blakemore’s chief executive in April, with Jerry Marwood leaving the company to focus on his non-executive directorships and consultancy roles.
She will leave her current job as managing director UK & Ireland and commercial officer Europe of Odeon Cinemas Group. Prior to that she’s worked at the likes of at Costa Coffee, Associated British Foods, Cadbury-Schweppes, and PepsiCo.
Welch said: “I am thrilled to be joining A.F. Blakemore as chief executive. It is a fantastic business with a deep understanding of retail, wholesale and foodservice and an enviable values-led culture, fuelled by more than 7,000 colleagues and partners who are passionate about delivering great food and drink solutions. I’m excited to be working with the shareholders and team to deliver their business ambition.”
Read more: Blakemore reports 19% annual sales growth
Peter Blakemore, chairman, commented: “We’re delighted that Carol is joining, she brings a wealth of experience from multiple sectors, a strong strategic vision combined with an approach aligned to the Blakemore Way and values.
“Carol joining sees the culmination of our chief executive succession plan following Jerry’s decision to leave the business at the end of this financial year. Jerry has done an outstanding job for Blakemore’s over the last 11 years, handing over strong sales performance and a strategic plan that will help us to deliver the innovation and ambition that are hallmarks of our business.”
Outgoing chief executive Jerry Marwood said: “I’ve had a fabulous time at AFB and had the privilege of working with an outstanding group of people. Together we have proven that a privately-owned family business can succeed in one of the most competitive markets in the UK and still uphold core values that make us all proud to be part of the team. Carol is a great recruit and clearly demonstrates our shareholders’ ambition for the future.”