Paul McGovern, new head of human resources at Macphie  2100x1400

Source: Macphie

Paul McGovern, new head of human resources at Macphie

There has been a raft of hires by bakery firms and suppliers, with director, head of HR, and business development chef among the roles with new faces.

Our round-up of recent appointments details their professional backgrounds, thoughts on their new employers, and the impacts they are expecting to make:


Paul McGovern, head of human resources at Macphie

Glaswegian McGovern (pictured above) takes on the newly-created HR role at the Aberdeenshire-based ingredients supplier following a lengthy career in the drinks industry which included several years with both Heineken and whisky brands owner Edrington Group.

The hire is the latest enhancement to Macphie’s senior leadership team, following recent appointments of operations director Donald MacDonald, strategy and sustainability director Ed Widdowson, and head of product and innovation Susie Turan.

McGovern will be tasked with managing the personal development of more than 250 staff members at the family-run firm, looking especially at training and boosting of digital skills across the team, while supporting the company culture.

“There are big growth plans and the hard-working team are central to that,” commented McGovern. “By working closely with each other we can continue to be proud of the work we’re doing in a sector that is extremely important in Scotland and the UK.”


Shaun Smith, non-executive director at Cake Box

The egg-free cake specialist has named Shaun Smith as an independent non-executive director. The move will see Smith also become a member of its audit, remuneration, nomination and ESG committees and expected to become the chair of the audit committee after the completion of the FY24 audit.

Shaun Smith, Cake Box's new non-executive director  834x909

Source: Cake Box

Shaun Smith, Cake Box’s new non-executive director

Smith currently serves as non-executive chair of Driver Group Plc, Inspecs Group Plc, and Epwin Group Plc, where he is also audit committee chair. He has also been chief financial officer at Norcros plc, and group finance director at Aga Rangemaster Group plc.

“I warmly welcome Shaun to the board of Cake Box,” said non-executive chair Martin Blair, who assumed his own role at the firm just a few months back. “His extensive leadership and board experience will contribute significantly to our work and support our growth with the many exciting opportunities ahead for the business.”

Cake Box continues to enjoy a strong trading performance in the UK, rolling out new branding for its franchise outlets during the second half of last year – its total estate stood at 214 franchises nationwide as of 30 September 2023. It reported group revenue had risen to £18m for the first half of its current financial year, up from £16.8m taken during the same period in 2022.


Joe Gleave, new operations director at CoolKit  2100x1400

Source: CoolKit

Joe Gleave, new operations director at CoolKit

Joe Gleave, operations director at CoolKit

Temperature-controlled van specialist CoolKit has appointed Joe Gleave as its new operations director. The experienced engineer, manager, and manufacturing operations expert joins the firm as it ‘enters into an exciting new era expecting to fulfil record sales orders for a second successive year’.

CoolKit recently relocated to 75,000 sq ft site in Blackburn, Lancashire that is around 50% larger than the previous van conversion premises in Burnley, which was destroyed in a fire just six month ago. Last August, it teamed up with London-based bakery Lola’s Cupcakes to create a delivery vehicle with large display windows at the rear.

Gleave is expected to implement the necessary operational transformations to allow it to double output within three years. “I believe with the highly capable staff we have there is a mass amount of optimisation that can be done in the new factory which will result in us being able to satisfy even more customers quickly and more reliably,” he said.


Justin Clarke, business development chef at Middleton Foods

The foodservice pre-mix specialist has made the strategic addition of Clarke, which it said would reinforce its ‘commitment to innovation, creativity and culinary excellence’.

Justin Clarke, business development chef at Middleton Foods  854x1031

Source: Middleton Foods

Justin Clarke, business development chef at Middleton Foods

Clarke brings a wealth of experience to the role, including placements all over the world as a chef for the Royal Air Force, as well as stints with Waitrose, Marks & Spencer, and most recently Nestlé Professional – a position he held for the past 15 years.

His latest appointment with see him responsible for growing the healthcare sector at Middleton, working closely with the sales team to enhance the company’s offerings, establishing strategic partnerships, and driving business growth. Middleton is a family-owned and run business based in Willenhall near Wolverhampton, with a product range that includes pre-mixes for bread, cakes, pastries, muffins, cookies, scones, doughnuts, waffles, pancakes, as well as gluten-free items.