Birds Eye boss Martin Glenn to step down

The chief executive of Birds Eye owner Iglo Group and former PepsiCo marketer Martin Glenn is leaving the frozen food business after six years.

Martin Glenn led the Birds Eye’s marketing renaissance in recent years including the introduction of Clarence the Bear.

Glenn, who has led Birds Eye brand’s growth strategy in Europe, will quit the company in the next few months. A search for his successor is underway and an appointment will be made in due course, according to the business.

He is credited with orchestrating the frozen food manufacturer’s efforts to change consumer perceptions of the category by promoting the convenience and quality of its products through marketing.

Glenn says: “I am very proud of what we have achieved with the Iglo Group and of the significant turnaround of the business since 2006. Having achieved the objectives we set ourselves in the time frame planned and recently completing our refinancing and strategic plan, now is the logical time to begin the search for a new CEO who can take on the next business cycle.”

It is unknown whether he has a job to go to.

The company has aggressively pushed for growth in a tough consumer market in recent years with a series of marketing initiatives such as the introduction of brand ambassador Clarence the Bear, voiced by Willem Defoe.

The announcement is likely to be a blow for Permira, the investment firm that owns Iglo Group, as it looks to find buyers for the €3bn (£2.4bn) business. Last year, the firm was forced to abort an auction after prospective buyers failed to meet its asking price.

Permira acquired Iglo from Unilever in 2006 and poached Glenn from PepsiCo, where he was chief executive of its snacks business that included Walkers Crisps. Under his tenure Walkers doubled its market share and named England football legend Gary Linekar as its brand ambassador.

He was previously UK marketing manager for Mars Petcare.

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