McCormick’s md Sykes to join Spillers

Dalgety has hired the managing director of McCormick Foods, Alastair Sykes, to take on the role of managing director of Spillers Foods UK, which includes the newly-acquired Quaker petfood business.

Sykes, who will oversee brands including Felix, Chunky and Winalot, steps into the role held temporarily by former Spillers marketing director Simon Esberger, understood to be considering job offers within Dalgety. Esberger had been acting managing director since the start of the year. Some sources suggest he was offered and rejected the role of European marketing director for the company (MW April 28).

Sykes is understood to have worked with Spillers’ chief executive Nigel Garrow at McCormick’s – which handles Schwartz herbs and spices. He will take up the role of UK managing director and a European counterpart will be appointed.

There are suggestions that the European post will be concerned with Dalgety’s share of the European non-grocery retail market. Both will report to Garrow who was brought in to oversee the 442m acquisition which was completed last month.

Esberger was replaced in his marketing role after Quaker commercial director Peter Farrand stepped in to the post.