He has also been named chair designate and will succeed present chair, Gary Kennedy, at the conclusion of Greencore’s Annual General Meeting in January 2023.
Sly Bailey, chair of the nomination and governance committee at Greencore welcomed de Walle and added, “Leslie is a highly experienced chair, who brings a strong understanding of the business, its markets and the opportunities available within the UK food industry. I know he will lead the board with determination and flair.”
Kennedy will retire as chair and from the board of Greencore in January 2023.
He was appointed as a non-executive director in 2008 and served as chair since 2013 and executive chair since 2021.
Kennedy commented, "It has been a privilege to work with so many talented colleagues at Greencore for nearly fifteen years, as we transformed the group into a leader in the UK convenience food sector.
"I have every confidence that the group has the capabilities to continue to lead and grow in its markets in the years ahead."
Bailey thanked Kennedy for his "outstanding contribution to the business since 2008."
"He has led the board through the most exceptional and challenging times culminating as executive chair. His enthusiasm and commitment to Greencore and its people have been unwavering," he added.
Leslie Van de Walle
de Walle is a seasoned professional with many years of experience in senior management roles in the food industry with companies such as Danone, Cadbury Schweppes, and as group chief executive officer at United Biscuits plc.
He also served as group chief executive officer at Rexam plc, and executive vice president of Global Retail at Shell.
Currently, de Walle serves as chair of Euromoney Institutional Investor plc and is a non-executive director of HSBC UK Bank plc.
Kennedy stated, “Leslie brings a wealth of non-executive and chair experience across multiple sectors, including food.
"I know that he will provide the board with strong and effective leadership and that he will be a great support to our incoming CEO, Dalton Philips, who has been involved in the process and welcomes Leslie’s appointment."
Commenting on his new role, de Walle stated, “I am excited to be joining Greencore at such an important time for the business. Strong progress has been made in driving revenue growth and improved profit conversion against the backdrop of a very challenging economic and food industry environment.
"I am looking forward to working with Dalton, his executive team and the Board to advance this further and to create superior value for stakeholders."