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Patisserie Valerie CEO Paul May quits

Patisserie Valerie CEO Paul May has resigned from his role a month after a fraud inquiry began at the cake chain.

May has been replaced by Steve Francis, who the company says has “proven track record of rapid operational performance improvements”. The company’s statement announcing May’s departure offered no thanks to May, however according to Sky News the former CEO left and was not forced out.

The company statement read: “Since 2005, Steve has completed four successful operational turnarounds of multi-site, international businesses with revenues ranging from £2bn 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.”

Patisserie Valerie, chairman Luke Johnson, said: “I am delighted to welcome Steve Francis as new CEO at Patisserie Holdings PLC. 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.”

On the afternoon of Friday 12 October, Patisserie Holdings released a statement which said historical statements on the cash position of the company were “mis-stated and subject to fraudulent activity and accounting irregularities” and confirmed the accounts were “likely to have affected the historical financial statements of the company”.

It went on to estimate that its annual revenue and EBITDA, before exceptional one off costs, for the year ending 30 September 2019 could be approximately £120m and £12m, respectively. It will re-audit its financial statements for release on 30 September 2018.

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