Greggs has appointed Ken McMeikan – currently retail director at Sainsbury’s – to be chief
executive of the group. He will join the board of the bakery giant on June 1.
Sir Michael Darrington will retire at the end of July after 24 years as managing director of Greggs but will remain on the board as a non-executive director.
Announcing McMeikan’s appointment, Greggs chairman Derek Netherton said: “When we began the process to find a successor to Mike Darrington we recognised that he would be an extremely hard act to follow. We are therefore delighted to have found in Ken McMeikan a person with the right mix of abilities and personal qualities to lead the business in the next stage of its development.”
Netherton added that McMeikan’s “considerable retailing experience” would “greatly complement the skills and expertise that already exist within the Greggs senior team”.
McMeikan, 42, joined Sainsbury’s in 2005 after a short period as chief executive of Tesco Japan. Previously he had spent 14 years in operational roles with Tesco, becoming chief executive of the Europa Foods convenience store business following its acquisition in 2002, with responsibility for integrating it into the Tesco Express format.
Netherton also paid tribute to Sir Michael for “his outstanding contribution to the considerable growth and development of the business over the last 25 years, and particularly for his strong and unflagging leadership”.
Sir Michael welcomed McMeikan’s appointment and said his experience would “prove particularly relevant and helpful in progressing the development of Greggs as a much more unified and customer-focused national brand”.