HUMAN RESOURCES | Staff Reporter, Australia

RFG announces Managing Director transition

Retail Food Group announced that Andre Nell will join the Board and succeed Tony Alford as Managing Director, effective 1 July 2016.

Holding the position of CEO Franchise for RFG since June 2015, Nell is responsible for oversight of the Group’s domestic and international Brand Systems, including integration and international growth of recently acquired concepts. He previously held the positions of Head of Commercial and Chief Operating Officer.

Alford decided on the transition on his 20th anniversary with the Company, having initially served three years as CFO and the remainder as Managing Director. As part of the change management, he will transition to a non-executive Director effective 1 July 2016.

RFG Chairman Colin Archer said Alford had made an enormous contribution to the Company over a long and distinguished career.

“Tony led RFG through strong growth as a private company, before successfully listing in 2006. RFG has continued to flourish as a public company under his leadership, experiencing rapid but controlled growth as a consequence of the strategies employed during his tenure. His achievements are manifold and on behalf of the Board and shareholders I thank him for his contribution to the Company,” he said.

He commended Alford’s development of an outstanding executive team which not only positions the Company for future success, but has also enabled the Board to appoint his successor from a pool of highly qualified internal candidates.

“We are fortunate to have a successor of Andre’s outstanding calibre. Andre is an exceptional leader and strategist, who under Tony’s guidance and mentorship, has played an integral role in driving RFG’s success in recent years. The Board, having witnessed Andre’s development over the last two years, is in no doubt that he possesses the skills and energy necessary to assume broader responsibility for executing on the Group’s growth strategy whilst engaging with key stakeholders, including franchisees, employees and investors. Importantly, Andre will be supported by a strong and experienced executive management team, developed over the last three years in anticipation of the present transition,” he said.

Alford said the decision to commence the formal transition process from an executive role was not a difficult one.

“Family, health, personal reasons and new opportunities have played no part in the resolve to retire from the position of Managing Director. On the contrary, after twenty years’ service, the enthusiasm and energy remains as does the passion and confidence in the future of RFG. The process of transition coincides with the recent appointment of non-executive Directors, embellishment of the Senior Management team, the Group being resplendent with multiple growth opportunities, and the platform established for achievement of those near term and broader strategic goals previously shared with the market,” he said.

“It is as a direct consequence of the exceptional results which have been achieved after less than one year of the Company’s previously ventilated three year plan that the appropriate time to transition stewardship is now.”

“Quite simply, on the twentieth anniversary of incumbency, there is no better time for the transition process to commence. RFG has never previously exhibited such profound growth opportunity and more importantly has never had at its disposal the skills, experience and expertise within its Senior Management complement with which to maximise stakeholder outcomes.”

“I am grateful, blessed and humbled for the opportunity to have led such an extraordinarily talented management team, staffing complement and franchisee community, and am extremely proud to be associated with the milestones achieved, particularly since the Company’s Listing in 2006.”

Alford said he was delighted at the appointment of Andre Nell as his successor and looked forward to a smooth transition to him in coming months.

“Being one of six inaugural members of the Company’s Executive Management Team, Andre and myself have worked closely for many years. Andre’s elevation from CEO Franchise is a natural progression and forms part of the long term succession process that has been cultivated within the organisation for some time,” he said.

“Under Andre’s leadership, together with the Board and Executive Management Team, RFG will continue to thrive”.

RFG Managing Director designate Andre Nell said it is a privilege to be bestowed the opportunity to lead such a great Australian company, and that he is committed to maintaining the excellent reputation RFG has forged for delivering strong outcomes for all stakeholders.

“My career, experience and understanding of RFG’s unique business model have placed me in an excellent position to lead the Group during its next chapter of growth. It is truly an exciting period for the Company, with an accelerated growth plan established during 2015 and garnering increased traction, evidenced by the Company’s strong 1H16 performance. I have every intention of maintaining that strategy, preserving the performance based culture inherent in the Group and its Brand Systems, and driving the growth opportunities at RFG’s disposal,” he said. 

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