New man at the helm of €13bn Kerry Group

Edmond Scanlon, who will take over from Chief Executive Stan McCarthy in September. Picture Colm Mahady / Fennell Photography.
Edmond Scanlon, who will take over from Chief Executive Stan McCarthy in September. Picture Colm Mahady / Fennell Photography.
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

The €13bn Kerry Group has selected company lifer Edmond Scanlon as its new chief executive.

From Brosna in Co Kerry, Mr Scanlon (43) will succeed Stan McCarthy in the role at the food and ingredients giant. Mr McCarthy has been chief executive since 2008, and is retiring this year as he turns 60.

Mr Scanlon grew up on a dairy farm in Brosna. He studied commerce and accounting at University College, Cork, before joining Kerry Group’s graduate programme in 1996.

Kerry chairman Michael Dowling said that the chief executive role is “not the easiest job in the world” and that Mr Scanlon has “big shoes to fill”.

It will also put Mr Scanlon in line for a huge pay rise.

Mr McCarthy was paid a total of $4.6m (€4.3m) in 2015. That included a basic salary of $1.3m, a performance-related bonus of $768,000, benefits of $109,000; and pension contributions of $273,000. He also received $2.1m worth of share options under the group’s long-term incentive plan.

Since joining the group, Mr Scanlon has held a number of roles at the international food and ingredients company, and is currently the chief executive of Kerry’s Asia-Pacific operations.

He told investors in London yesterday that he is “honoured and a privileged” to be appointed chief executive at the group, which employs 23,000 people around the world and yesterday reported revenues of €6.1bn for 2016, and a €750m profit.

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“Kerry Group has undergone remarkable development under Stan’s leadership… and together with my colleagues I look forward to continuing to build Kerry Group," said Mr Scanlon.

Mr Scanlon, who will formally take up the chief executive role on October 1, is married with three children and will now relocate to Kerry’s global headquarters in Tralee.

After joining Kerry more than 20 years ago, he spent three years in financial roles at the company’s consumer food business, before transferring into its dairy ingredients division in Listowel, Co Kerry.

He moved to the United States with the group in 2004, and was later appointed vice president of operations for Kerry’s supply chain and financial functions there.

He gradually moved up the ranks, leading Kerry’s busy mergers and acquisitions function for the US unit, before being appointed president of the group’s pharma business.

He relocated to Shanghai in China in 2012 to head Kerry’s operations there. In 2014, he took on his current role, opening a regional headquarters for the group in Singapore in 2015.

Kerry chairman Michael Dowling said that a number of strong, potential leaders had been internally identified by the board as part of the long chief executive succession process.

“We considered whether we would be better off to look outside (the company)… and it was clear in our view that we had sufficient talent within the company that we didn’t have to go externally,” he said.

Mr Dowling added that Mr Scanlon’s “vision, experience and energy, and a range of other qualities… made him the best candidate to drive the company forward”.

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