Boss of troubled cafe chain Patisserie Valerie replaced

Patisserie Valerie

Paul May, the CEO of troubled cafe chain Patisserie Valerie, has been replaced by turnaround specialist Stephen Francis, the former Chief Executive of pork producer Tulip, with immediate effect.

Patisserie Valerie chairman Luke Johnson says: “I am delighted to welcome Steve Francis as new Chief Executive at Patisserie Holdings.

“He has a strong track record of restoring value in turnaround situations, especially in the food industry, and the board looks forward to working with him in the revival of the business.”

The resignation comes just weeks after the company found a £40m hole and had to raise emergency funding to keep the business afloat.

In a statement to the stock exchange the company says: “Steve is a strong leader and experienced turnaround Chief Executive with a proven track record of rapid operational performance improvements.

“Since 2005, Steve has completed four successful operational turnarounds of multi-site, international businesses with revenues ranging from £2 billion to £200m.

“Steve was recently CEO of Tulip Ltd., the UK’s largest integrated farmer and producer of pork, where he led the rapid return from significant losses, rebuilt the management team and completed a major growth acquisition.

“Prior to that, he led the turnaround of Danwood Group as Group CEO, restoring the credibility with stakeholders, re-building the management and transforming the profitability of the Company.

“He has also held turnaround roles at Vion Food Group and Vita Group. Stephen has also held a number of senior roles at Barclays Capital, PricewaterhouseCoopers and McKinsey.”