MD Foods chief to go in wake of rejig

MD Foods marketing director David Whitehouse is poised to quit the company, following an internal restructure and the appointment of a new group marketing director.

Andrew Simpson has been brought in from Sun Valley Foods, where he was divisional general manager for UK retail sales and marketing.

The Leeds company, which has about 65 per cent of its business in the liquid-milk market including cream, flavoured milks and doorstep deliveries, attracted bad publicity earlier this year when its health claims for Gaio yogurt were condemned as “exaggerated” and “unsupported” by the Advertising Standards Authority.

Whitehouse was forced to defend the product on BBC TV’s consumer affairs programme, Watchdog. He declined to comment about the MD Foods restructure.

Simpson will be responsible for marketing and advertising brands such as Gaio, Pact margarine and Lurpak butter, implementing group strategy issued by MD Foods’ head office in Denmark.

According to MD Foods, he will look at adding value to liquid-milk products, as he did at Sun Valley Foods with commodity products such as chicken.

He will report to David Salkeld, chief executive of MD Foods UK, and take responsibility for an advertising budget of about 10m.

Sun Valley Foods has promoted marketing manager Keith Chesson to Simpson’s former role.

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