George Weston Foods Limited (GWF), a division of Associated British Foods (ABF), has appointed managing director of Don Smallgoods, Stuart Grainger, as its new CEO following the resignation of current chief, Andrew Reeves.

Mr Grainger will assume the role of CEO in September 2016 following a transition period of four months and will report directly to George Weston, CEO ABF.

The company said over the past five years Mr Reeves has led GWF’s $100 million turnaround and established the foundations for the company’s future growth. In the coming months, Mr Reeves will support Mr Grainger to ensure a smooth handover of responsibilities so the business momentum continues strongly.

AR + SG (bakery wall)
George Weston’s outgoing CEO, Andrew Reeves, and internal successor, Stuart Grainger.

ABF CEO, Mr George Weston, paid tribute to Mr Reeves’ achievements as CEO during his tenure with the business.

“Andrew [Reeves] joined GWF in 2011 and has led the business successfully through a major turnaround, restoring business stability and performance, improving safety, retailer relationships and attracting and developing talent – all critical to the company’s future growth. I would like to sincerely thank Andrew [Reeves] for his significant contribution over the past five years and recognise the legacy he leaves in transforming GWF into the sustainable business it is today. I wish him all the best for his future,” Mr Weston said.

“I’m also delighted to see Stuart Grainger appointed as the new chief executive, with his extensive experience in food and manufacturing industries, as well as 20 years with ABF. Following a search process, we’ve appointed a high calibre internal successor to lead GWF in the dynamic and increasingly challenging Australian and New Zealand food markets.”

Mr Reeves, outgoing CEO of GWF said: “I am proud of what we’ve achieved at GWF. It is now a people-centred business, which responds to the market and the customer. It is well positioned to grow, innovate and build the categories in which it operates. I am also particularly pleased with meeting many of our own internal targets including improvements in safety performance, workforce diversity with 37 per cent female leaders in our business; and our commitment to succession planning as evidenced by a number of senior internal appointments.

Mr Grainger’s career with ABF spans more than 20 years and he brings a wealth of market, operational and leadership experience to this important role. Mr Grainger has extensive experience in the food industry and in driving value across the entire food supply chain from ‘farm to fork’.

Most recently, as managing director of Don Smallgoods, he led the business through a significant period of change including commissioning a new $280 million state of the art smallgoods factory in Castlemaine Victoria.

“I look forward to working with all the teams across the business to build on Andrew’s legacy and continue to make GWF a company we can all take pride in. I have held a long career in ABF, working across most parts of the food chain. To now lead an iconic Company as part of the global ABF portfolio is an absolute privilege for me,” Mr Grainger said.

GWF is one of Australia and New Zealand’s largest food manufacturers, employing around 6500 employees across 60 sites, and produces well known brands such as Tip Top, Don Smallgoods, KR Castlemaine, Sunblest, Golden, Top Taste, Bürgen and newer brands such as Bazaar Breads of the World.

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