The chief executive of 2 Sisters, Ranjit Boparan, is set to step down from his role.
The decision comes after a series of poor events for the company, including the temporary shutdown of a plant following startling discoveries made during undercover filming.
Taking on new role
Ranjit Boparan has announced that he is standing down from his role as chief executive in order to pursue a new role. He will instead become the president of Boparan Holdings Limited (BHL) – the parent company of 2 Sisters.
Boparan has held the role for the last 25 years, so this presents a serious change for the company. It’s also big news for food recruitment, since a position of this magnitude does not come up regularly. Interestingly, they have chosen to make the announcement before starting the process of hiring a replacement chief executive.
The company stated that the process will now kick into action, and that they will be considering both internal and external candidates.
In order to fill the gap, chief operating officer Martyn Fletcher will be reporting into the board and taking charge of the business operations. This will continue until a formal appointment is made.
“I am fully committed to building a better, more transparent business, modernising our company and simplifying our operations,” said Boparan. “I want to take a broader industry leadership role and concentrate more on the issues and challenges that affect not only our business, but also the food sector in general such as Brexit, social responsibility and sustainability. These changes are the right ones to make at a very important stage in our business’ history and they help secure strong foundations for future development and growth. These are further major transformative steps in a journey to build a better business with a world-class leadership team.”
New challenges ahead
Charles Allen is the chairman of BHL. He said, “Ranjit has spent 25 years of his life building a world-class food business. He has been a catalyst for change within the food industry, by challenging the norm and providing our customers and consumers with great service, great-quality food, and great prices. In his new role, he will be playing to his strengths, looking at new opportunities and reducing debt that will help take the business to new levels of success.”
There will certainly be new challenges ahead for whoever joins the operational management at 2 Sisters next. It has been a very turbulent year for the company, and for Boparan in particular. He was called up in front of MPs on the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee last October because of an undercover press investigation at their plant in West Bromwich.
The cameras picked up health and safety breaches in a number of areas, which were extremely concerning to watchdogs. The plant was temporarily closed, with all staff across the company undergoing emergency retraining sessions to avoid further breaches.
As a result, operating profit for the company was down by 57.6% for the 13 weeks to the 28 October. They then announced that they are planning to close three of the 2 Sisters poultry sites across the country, which means a threat to 900 jobs currently held within the plants.
Turning this around will be difficult, but a change of head will be a good first step for the company. Boparan is now irrevocably linked with the problems uncovered by the investigation, and in order to shake off that image, many changes must be made. 2 Sisters will need to prove that they can be trusted by both consumers and customers again.