Former Starbucks finance boss appointed by poultry giant

Executive chairman of Boparan Holdings, Richard Pennycook

A Midlands poultry giant has appointed a former Starbucks executive as its new finance chief.

Nigel Williams will become CFO at Boparan Holdings from April, the owner of 2 Sisters Food Group, one of Britain’s major private food companies.

With 20 years of experience as a CFO, Williams specialises in multi-site food and beverage retail and previously held the role of finance director for Starbucks UK before joining Australia’s Collins Foods.

He will oversee a refinancing of the firm’s debts, with a deadline of June 2025.

Current CFO Craig Tomkinson will exit the company in July, after serving as Group CFO and board director for almost six years and being with the company for over a decade. Tomkinson has opted for a career break.

He said: “I believe now’s the right moment for a career break. I will take on fresh challenges after a period of recharging my batteries with my family. I have had an incredible journey at 2 Sisters and I’m proud to have played a role in transforming the company. The priorities when I re-joined were to improve trading performance, reduce debt and the pension deficit, strengthen financial controls and rebuild the finance team, and I’m proud of the progress made.”

2 Sisters, a supplier to numerous major supermarket chains, has earned its owner Ranjit Boparan the nickname “chicken king” due to its extensive poultry operations and has sites across the East and West Midlands.

Under the leadership of Richard Pennycook, who formerly held positions as the finance chief at Wm Morrison and as the chief executive of the Co-op Group, the company employs approximately 13,000 individuals and supplies ready-made meals, including pizzas and soups.

Executive chairman of Boparan Holdings, Richard Pennycook said: “On behalf of the Board, we would like to thank Craig for his significant contribution over the years and his considerable talents in helping transform 2 Sisters for the better. Craig has played a critical role in helping us to overcome some tough external challenges in recent years and setting us up for future success. We wish him and his family all the very best.

“We would also like to welcome Nigel to the Board. He has a first-class track record in financial leadership roles and we look forward to working with him in taking the business forward to the next stage of its evolution.”