Ranjit Singh Boparan, the co-founder and CEO of scandal-hit 2 Sisters Food Group, will step down from his role after 25 years at the helm.
The UK-based company, which is the country’s largest supplier of supermarket chicken, has now started a process to find a new chief executive and will be considering external and internal candidates.
Martyn Fletcher in his capacity as COO, reporting to the board, will be responsible for the operations of the business until a formal appointment has been made.
The announcement follows a challenging few months for the company, which has been in the spotlight since it was embroiled in a food hygiene row last year following an undercover investigation by the Guardian and ITV.
Workers at a 2 Sisters plant in West Bromwich were found to be altering kill dates and the undercover report stated that employees were seen changing records of where the chickens had been slaughtered.
Earlier this month, the company announced it proposes to close three factories in the UK, with 900 jobs affected.
2 Sisters has launched a consultation to close its Cambuslang factory in Scotland, with up to 450 jobs under threat, in addition to its West Midlands sites in Smethwick, with 350 jobs at risk, and Wolverhampton, with 100 positions under threat.
Boparan, who will now become president of 2 Sisters Food Group parent company Boparan Holdings Limited (BPL), said: “I am fully committed to building a better, more transparent business, modernising our company and simplifying our operations.
“I want to take a broader industry leadership role and concentrate more on the issues and challenges that affect not only our business, but also the food sector in general such as Brexit, social responsibility and sustainability.”
He added: “These changes are the right ones to make at a very important stage in our business’s history and they help secure strong foundations for future development and growth. These are further major transformative steps in a journey to build a better business with a world-class leadership team.”
BPL chairman Charles Allen said: “Ranjit has spent 25 years of his life building a world-class food business. He has been a catalyst for change within the food industry, by challenging the norm and providing our customers and consumers with great service, great quality food, and great prices.
“In his new role, he will be playing to his strengths, looking at new opportunities and reducing debt that will help take the business to new levels of success.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019