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In a market statement on the development, Greencore said pending the appointment of a new CEO, Gary Kennedy, non-executive chair, would take a more active role in the business following Coveney’s departure.

“Chief commercial officer, Kevin Moore will assume the role of deputy chief executive with immediate effect. In the intervening period, Patrick will continue to lead the executive team as CEO.”

Kennedy said: “On behalf of the board, I would like to express our deep gratitude to Patrick for leading the business for the past 14 years and for transforming Greencore into the UK’s leading convenience food business. We wish him well in the future.”

Greencore has begun the search process to appoint a new CEO. In the meantime, the company said its management team would continue to focus on the priorities of the business and update the market on its performance and prospects in its full-year 2021 results statement on 30 November.

Simon Smith leaves SSP in December

Coveney’s appointment at SSP follows the announcement on 14 July 2021 that Simon Smith planned to leave the business in December. Jonathan Davies, in his role as deputy CEO and chief financial officer, will lead the group executive committee and oversee day-to-day business before Coveney joins.

Coveney has been the group CEO of Greencore since 2008, after more than two years as chief financial officer. Under his leadership, Greencore transformed into an international leader in value added convenience food, most notably in food-to-go.

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