Forthglade, the Devon-based natural pet food maker, has appointed David Cox as new CEO. Initial investors Chris Brooking and Gerard Lovell, who helped shape the business over the past 11 years, have stepped down as joint managing directors while remaining investors in the business alongside the company’s senior management team.
David joins from food manufacturer Symington’s, where he was CEO for three years. During his time there he led the business through a successful turnaround, reshaped strategy, and delivered a successful sale transaction from Intermediate Capital Group (ICG) to Newlat Foods.
“I’m delighted to be joining the Forthglade team at such an exciting time for the business,” said David. “With an increasing demand for quality natural pet food and following strategic investments across production processes, operations and marketing, the business is in fantastic shape for an exciting year ahead.
“Forthglade has doubled turnover in the past four years and we plan to build on that momentum, doubling again over the next three years. With an extensive range of NPD launching this year, we’re looking forward to continuing to partner with our trade customers to help bring our natural recipes to life for pet owners”.
Since 1971 Forthglade has produced award-winning recipes valued by customers for their natural ingredients, high meat content, gentle cooking methods, and grain free recipes.
The natural products for dogs include wet food, dry cold pressed recipes and a wide selection of treats, which are distributed across supermarkets, online retailers, independent specialist pet retailers and Forthglade’s own website.
The company employs over 170 people in the UK, the majority of which are based at the manufacturer’s state-of-the-art factory situated on the edge of Dartmoor.
Gerard Lovell commented: “Being Joint MD of Forthglade for the past 11 years has been a privilege. We’ve been innovators and leaders in the growth of natural pet food in a category that has expanded beyond recognition.
“Our passion to produce natural and wholesome food for dogs has never faltered. But none of this would have been possible without the support of an amazing team.
“During the period we have also secured two rounds of private equity investment which has given us the confidence to be bold and invest in the Forthglade brand and our manufacturing resources.
“We have no doubt that David will continue to successfully drive the business forward, ensuring that happy healthy dogs are at the heart of what we do.”
David Cox joined Symington’s after spending almost two years as MD at Fox’s Biscuits and four years at General Mills, latterly as European MD. He previously worked at Tesco as a category director and spent 12 years at Unilever.