Claire Leftwich - new finance director at Bells of Lazonby  2100x1400

Source: Bells of Lazonby

Claire Leftwich, Bells of Lazonby’s new finance director

A new finance director, chairman, and various senior management roles are among the appointments announced at ingredients manufacturers and bakery suppliers.

In the round-up below, we detail the new names coming in or stepping up to the positions (some newly created), while finding out where each business stands and where its ambitions lie.

Claire Leftwich, finance director at Bells of Lazonby

Leftwich (pictured above) makes the trek across the Lake District to join the bakery supplier from paper manufacturer James Croppers, where she was finance director and interim CFO. She has more than 15 years of financial experience in senior roles, and is aiming to help drive further growth at Bells through expansion of manufacturing capabilities across conventional and free-from bakery in both own label and brand (including the recently refreshed We Love Cake).

Dave Simmons is moving on to new pastures following 17 years as Bells of Lazonby’s finance director, during which time he played an integral part in its rapid growth to see a current sales forecast of more than £40m. The 77-year-old company remains wholly owned by the founding family, with second and third generation members comprising the board.

Tim Conder, MD at Bells for the past two years, said: “We are excited to welcome Claire into the team as we enter the next chapter for our business. Bells of Lazonby has an inspiring growth story built on consumer trust, category innovation and ultimately, a legacy of brilliant people”.


Macphie's outgoing chairman Alastair Macphie (left) with his replacement Norman Soutar  2100x1400

Source: Macphie

Macphie’s outgoing chairman Alastair Macphie (left) with his replacement Norman Soutar

Norman Souter, chairman at Macphie

Aberdeenshire-based ingredients supplier continues its senior team shake-up with the appointment of Norman Souter as chairman. Souter has served as a non-executive director since late 2022 and replaces Alastair Macphie, the great nephew of the company’s founder who is stepping down this spring after 17 years in the role.

Having delivered record growth over the past three years with current revenues exceeding £72m, Macphie is looking towards its centenary celebrations in 2028. Soutar will support CEO Andy Stapley to carry out the firm’s “ambitious plans”, while Alastair Macphie will continue to chair the family’s non-food businesses and “concentrate his efforts in the community” including as Lord-Lieutenant of Kincardineshire.

Other recent key appointments at Macphie include head of human resources Paul McGovern, operations director Donald MacDonald, strategy and sustainability director Ed Widdowson (a fourth generation family member), and head of product and innovation Susan Turan.


Six senior management roles at Henley Bridge

Flush from its best ever net profit of £25.3m last year, the dessert ingredients supplier has made half a dozen leadership appointments to help achieve extended growth targets.

A huge emphasis has been placed on developing online sales, with Darren Osborn internally promoted to assume the position of marketing and digital strategy director.

Meanwhile, a trio of Henley Bridge’s long-serving business sales managers – David Allman, Steve Carrigan, and Tony Williams – have stepped up to the newly created roles of key account & group account manager, sales manager for the gelato & ice cream sector, and field & internal sales manager, respectively.

Stephen Griffiths has been brought in as northern business sales development chef, reporting to Williams, and Clare Nice was promoted to the new internal business support manager position to enhance supplier relationships.

Henley Bridge was established in 1998 and currently employs 56 staff working at a 30,000 sq ft facility on the outskirts of Lewes, East Sussex. It is part of the Albex Group portfolio of food and drinks ingredients manufacturers, which includes bakery sector suppliers Kent Foods, BFP, and recently acquired Rainbow Dust Colours.