Aryzta appoints James Leighton as non-executive director

Baked goods company says appointment is part of ‘ongoing board refreshment’

James Leighton joins the baked goods company having previously held roles in Perdue Foods, ConAgra and Boulder Brands. Photograph: iStock

James Leighton joins the baked goods company having previously held roles in Perdue Foods, ConAgra and Boulder Brands. Photograph: iStock

 

Baked goods company Aryzta has appointed James B Leighton to its board as an independent non-executive director. The appointment of Mr Leighton is said to be “as part of ongoing board refreshment and renewal”.

A company statement said that Mr Leighton “brings both public and private company experience” having served as president of Perdue Foods from 2009 to 2013 and chief operating officer of Boulder Brands between 2013 and 2016.

Mr Leighton also held the position of interim chief executive of Boulder Brands, a health food company in North America.

“Jim has substantial North American business experience at the key interface between supplier, retailer and consumer, and will provide valuable support to the board and, by extension, the management team,” said Gary McGann, chairman of Aryzta.

Owen Killian departure

Recently, the Irish-headquartered company appointed Kevin Toland as chief executive. Aryzta had been without a chief executive since the departure of Owen Killian earlier in the year.

In a note to investors, analysts at Investec said: “Part of the recovery process that the new chairman has been implementing is the rebuilding and/or strengthening of both the executive management team and non-executive board members of Aryzta.

“Having appointed a chief executive who we believe to be well qualified to address Aryzta’s current issues, we believe that this board appointment is again of a candidate with strong and relevant experience in an area of the business that is looking to recover.”

Mr Leighton’s appointment is subject to approval by Aryzta shareholders at its agm in December.