Cadbury (CBRY) saw its shares dip yesterday after the confectioner announced that its chief financial officer Ken Hanna would be stepping down from April next year to take up a new post as non-executive chairman post at car dealer Inchcape.
Mr Hanna joined Cadbury in March 2004 and, alongside chief executive Todd Stitzer, oversaw the demerger of the group’s North American soft drinks business earlier this year. ‘‘He has played a central role as we have radically restructured the business both from an operations and a portfolio perspective,” said Cadbury chairman Roger Carr.
In a statement, Cadbury said Mr Hanna intended to pursue a number of non-executive appointments including the Inchcape role, which he will take up in May next year.
Mr Hanna already serves on the Inchcape board as a non-executive director.
He will succeed Peter Johnson who announced he would step down as Inchcape’s chairman in May.
Cadbury said an external search for Mr Hanna’s successor has already started.
Shares in Cadbury closed down 1.5 per cent at 557p. Inchcape fared better, up more than one per cent at 189.5p.
“Ken is a safe pair of hands who guided Cadbury through a period of improved performance and the demerger of its North American drinks business,” said one analyst yesterday.
Others said he was considered key in Cadbury’s drive to improve underlying sales and margins, and focus the group almost entirely on confectionery.