Former Co-op Food chief executive to head up Hilton Food Group
Steve Murrells, the former head of Co-op Food, has been appointed as the chief executive of Hilton Food Group.
Due to take up his role from 3 July 2023, he will also join the group’s board.
Murrells will succeed Philip Heffer who has decided to step down after almost 30 years with the business. However, Heffer will remain with the group as co-founder and advisor to the Hilton Foods board.
Murrells has a connection to the business dating back almost 30 years when he was one of Hilton Foods’ first customers and commercial partners at Tesco. After working as chief executive of Tulip Ltd from 2009 to 2012, he then became chief executive of Co-op Food where he oversaw a turnaround and repositioned the business as a leading convenience player. He was subsequently appointed as group chief executive of Co-op Group.
In 2022, Murrells was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services to the food supply chain.
Commenting on his appointment, he said: “Back in the 1990s and early 2000s, I was the meat category director at Tesco when Hilton was pioneering centrally packed meat, and the way that Philip and the team have grown the business since then has been incredible, with fifteen years of sensational growth. I’ve loved getting to know the business again recently, and what is exciting is that there is so much still to achieve.
“While Philip is stepping down, he’s not stepping out of the business, and we will really benefit from his support with customer relationships and business development in his new role. I’m looking forward to working with Robert, Philip and the wider team as we take Hilton Foods to the next level and become the international food and supply chain partner of choice.”