East Anglia: Bernard Matthews group chief executive Noel Bartram to step down

Noel Bartram, who is to step down from his role at group chief executive at Benard Matthews

Noel Bartram, who is to step down from his role at group chief executive at Benard Matthews

A major management shake-up has continued at turkey giant Bernard Matthews with the announcement that its group chief executive is stepping down.

Noel Bartram will be leaving his current role due to “health concerns” but will remain involved in the business, according to the firm.

Meanwhile, David Joll has been appointed executive chairman of the organisation and will spearhead a move to secure fresh investment into the company.

It comes just weeks after chairman David McCall left the business on May 20, while Rob Mears stepped down from his position as UK managing director in April.

A spokesman for Bernard Matthews, which is based at Gt Witchingham, near Norwich, and also has a major operation at Holton, near Halesworth, said it remained in a “sound” position after weathering economic challenges in the retail sector.

He said: “The company can confirm that David Joll has been appointed as executive chairman. David Joll has extensive experience of the company and the sector, having led the business from 1987 until 2005, and will lead the repositioning and investment process being managed by PwC who are evaluating a range of options to accelerate the company’s growth.

“At the same time, Noel Bartram has stood down as group chief executive following his 60th birthday and some recent health concerns.

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“While Noel Bartram will remain involved in the company, David Joll will take on the day-to-day running of Bernard Matthews, supported by a strong and experienced executive management team.

“Bernard Matthews has weathered the difficult retail environment in a sound position and has the full support of its shareholders and financial advisers. The existing banking facilities will remain unchanged and are in place until December 2015.”

Last November, the company, which employs around 2,000 people, announced that rising turkey sales in the UK had helped the group produce a £2million profit in the 12 months to July 2012.