FORMER Asda boss Roger Burnley has been named as the new non-executive chairman of Co Down food manufacturer Finnebrogue.
The appointment comes 17 months after the death of the Downpatrick food group’s founder and former chairman, Denis Lynn.
The 63-year-old food entrepreneur died in a quad bike accident in May 2021.
Finnebrogue has now confirmed that Roger Burnley will take up the role of non-executive chairman from November 1.
Mr Lynn’s wife and majority shareholder, Christine Lynn, said the appointment marked the beginning of a new chapter for the company.
Mr Burnley was chief executive of Asda from January 2018 until August 2021. A Yorkshire native, he previously served as the supermarket chain’s chief operating officer and spent a decade as an executive director at Sainsbury’s.
“Roger shares our passion for making food the best it can be, without being bound by the way it has always been done,” said Ms Lynn.
“He brings with him the immense experience of over thirty years in British retailing, including four years leading one of the UK’s biggest supermarkets during the most challenging period for grocery in recent memory.
“He will be a great asset to our team as we seek to fulfil our ‘Finnebrogue 2030’ vision for food that doesn’t cost the Earth.”
The shareholder expressed her thanks to staff and board members for helping steer the company through what she said had been a transition period.
“In particular to our late friend David Manning and, more recently, Colin Walsh, for stepping into the chairman’s seat in an interim capacity,” she said.
“Finnebrogue is not just a family of sausage makers, bacon producers or plant-based manufacturers.
“We are a group of foodies on a mission to do things better for people and planet - and an organisation for which commercial success and delivering positive change in our society are equal priorities,” said Christine Lynn.
“I know these are values that Roger shares and I look forward to seeing he and the team build upon the brilliant foundations my husband Denis has left us.”
Commenting on his new role, Roger Burnley said: “I am delighted to be joining Finnebrogue, a business which I have long admired from afar, with a passionate and talented team and a clear mission to deliver the ‘Finnebrogue 2030’ vision for the future of food, which has captured my imagination.
“Finnebrogue’s outstanding growth, constant innovation and reputation for unrivalled product quality is famous within the UK food community, and I’m looking forward to working closely with the team to deliver long term and sustainable growth.”
Finnebrogue managing director, Andrew Nethercott, added: “We are thrilled that Roger is coming on board. His experience and expertise will be of huge value as we continue on our growth trajectory and look to seize the many opportunities that lie before us.”