Boardroom bust-up leads to departure of Boyne Valley Group chief

John Harkin has departed the food group after 10 years following a series of rows


The chief executive of one of the country’s biggest food groups has resigned following a boardroom bust-up.

John Harkin, who led the privately-owned Boyne Valley Foods for the last 10 years, recently stepped down following a series of rows at executive level.

Edward McCloskey, currently chairman of the company and son of founder Malachy McCloskey, is now serving as acting chief executive with the search for a new head to commence in the New Year.

Established in 1960 and currently employing about 200 people, the group is best known for its popular Boyne Valley Honey. Its wider portfolio includes a number of market-leading food brands including McDonnells, Chivers, Erin, Homecook, Don Carlos, Lakeshore and Lifeforce. Many of these brands were acquired when the group bought the Irish division of Premier Foods for €41.4 million in late 2011.

Non-food brands owned by the company include Killeen, which manufactures steel wool and soap pads.

Three sites

Boyne Valley Group manufactures on three sites in Drogheda. It exports to more than 30 international markets and had an estimated turnover of €150 million last year.

Mr Harkin, who joined the company in 2007, is estimated to have a 10 per cent stake in the business. The remaining 90 per cent of the group is owned by the McCloskey family.

A spokesman for Boyne Valley confirmed Mr Harkin had resigned from the company with the company thanking him for his service over the last decade.

Prior to joining the company, Mr Harkin was general manager of Punch Industries, a manufacturer of shoe care, fabric protection and laundry products. He has also held a number of commercial and operational roles with Kerry Group and Horgans of Mitchelstown.