Cantillon: Corporate clash over Brexit fallout on Twitter

Greencore chief Coveney calls out Wetherspoon’s Tim Martin on post-poll blame game

Greencore chief executive Patrick Coveney: he criticised Wetherspoon head Tim Martin for  lashing out at then UK chancellor George Osborne, the IMF, the Bank of England, blaming them for a potential slowdown following the Brexit vote. Photograph:  Cyril Byrne

Greencore chief executive Patrick Coveney: he criticised Wetherspoon head Tim Martin for lashing out at then UK chancellor George Osborne, the IMF, the Bank of England, blaming them for a potential slowdown following the Brexit vote. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

 

Greencore chief executive Patrick Coveney is by no means prolific on Twitter – he’s sent just 441 tweets since April 2015 – but they are usually worth the wait for his 904 followers.

In response to an excellent article in the Wall Street Journal on Thursday about the €9,895-a-month salary earned by a French barber to look after the hair of President François Hollande, @patrick_coveney had this to say: “This wanton excess & sense of entitlement – albeit petty – is so damaging to public sentiment; fuels LePen, Farage....”

The previous day, the Cork-born Greencore chief took to Twitter to have a cut at Tim Martin, the high-profile founder and chairman of UK pub chain JD Wetherspoon, who advocated a Leave vote in the run-up to the Brexit referendum poll on June 23rd.

He was writing in response to an article then running on media websites where Martin had lashed out at then UK chancellor George Osborne, the IMF, the Bank of England and other organisations, blaming them for a potential slowdown following the Brexit vote.

“In my opinion, the above individuals and organisations are either dishonest or they have a poor understanding of economics, since democracy and prosperity are closely linked and the EU is clearly undemocratic,” Martin stated.

Coveney issued a swift rebuke to Martin’s musings, via Twitter. “Outrageous from Wetherspoon chair – not enough to inflict economic damage on UK & EU but blames everyone else for it!”

Greencore is the world’s biggest sandwich manufacturer, while also producing a range of other convenience foods. Headquartered in Ireland, its operations are mostly based in the United Kingdom and the United States and it is listed on the London stock market, having switched from Dublin.

Given Greencore’s international outlook, there was no surprise that Coveney was firmly in the Remain camp in the Brexit debate. But while clearly disappointed with the referendum result, he presented a stiff upper lip to his Twitter followers on July 4th by declaring that Greencore “will get on with it!”.

That’s the spirit old man. Stay calm and keep on tweeting.

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