Birds Eye Iglo chief executive Martin Glenn set to depart

Martin Glenn: poised to leave Birds Eye Iglo
Martin Glenn: poised to leave Birds Eye Iglo

Birds Eye chief executive and former PepsiCo marketer Martin Glenn is poised to leave the company after six years at the helm.

Glenn's departure comes as the brand's owner, private-equity firm Permira, struggles to find a buyer for Birds Eye's parent company, Iglo Group. It is not known whether Glenn has a job to go to.

Attempts to sell Iglo to another private-equity house broke down in July last year, after BC Partners and Blackstone refused to match Permira's asking price.

Glenn, a former Cadbury Schweppes marketer, took up the position as Birds Eye chief executive in November 2006, following Permira's acquisition of Iglo Group from Unilever for £1.2bn.

Last April, prior to the breakdown of discussions with BC Partners and Blackstone, Glenn told The Independent that 'a good business will always find a buyer, and we are a good businessÕ.
Glenn moved to Birds Eye from PepsiCo, where he had held the role of UK & Ireland chief executive, having joined the company 15 years previously as a marketer.

He was responsible for hiring former England football star Gary Lineker to promote Walkers crisps; during Glenn's time at PepsiCo, Walkers increased its share of the crisps market from 29% to 67%.

Birds Eye has evolved its marketing over the past few years away from its Captain Birdseye character. Its recent UK advertising has featured a polar bear puppet called Clarence, voiced by US actor Willem Dafoe.

The character is named after Clarence Birdseye, the US inventor who developed the quick-freeze process.

Permira and Glenn both declined to comment.

Martin Glenn CV

  • 1981-84 Brand manager, Cadbury Schweppes
  • 1988-92 Marketing manager, UK & Germany, Mars Petcare
  • 1992-2003 Marketing manager rising to marketing director, PepsiCo UK & Ireland
  • 2003-06 Chief executive, PepsiCo UK & Ireland
  • 2006-13 Chief executive, Birds Eye Iglo

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