Business Irish

Sunday 19 August 2018

Irish bakery bosses' tricky Swiss roles to revive giant

Aryzta CEO Kevin Toland
Aryzta CEO Kevin Toland

Gary McGann and Kevin Toland would be the first to acknowledge that they have a significant amount of work to do to restore the sheen to Aryzta. In what has been a protracted period of turbulence, Aryzta's shareholders have endured a terrible time.

Their faith in the company, and the value of their investment in it, have both been substantially eroded.

Notwithstanding the challenges facing Aryzta and rivals in the market, the Swiss-Irish firm was the author of its own woes.

It annoyed its own customers by getting involved in the business to consumer market in the United States, and irritated investors by buying a stake in Picard that many thought it shouldn't have.

But with Mr McGann's and Mr Toland's recognised corporate pedigree, investors will be hoping that this is, to borrow a phrase, perhaps the beginning of the end of Aryzta's most tumultuous period.

Mr Toland has been busy visiting Aryzta plants and glad-handing customers in an effort to steady the ship.

"Having seen 75pc of our top 20 customers, I think that tells me that they see that we either have or should have good relevance for them," he said following yesterday's annual general meeting.

There's still a mountain to climb to regain investor confidence and shore up the US business in particular. It will take some time before it's scaled.

Irish Independent

Business Newsletter

Read the leading stories from the world of Business.

Also in Business