Musgrave Group plc, partner to entrepreneurial food retailers and foodservice professionals in Ireland, the United Kingdom and Spain has today, Thursday 27 May 2010, announced the appointment of Seamus Scally as non-executive Chairman designate to succeed Hugh Mackeown from January 2011.
Hugh Mackeown has been the driving force behind the growth and development of the Musgrave Group for over forty years, serving in that time as Managing Director, Chief Executive and Chairman. Mr. Mackeown took over as Managing Director of the then Musgrave Brothers business in 1971 at the age of 29. He became Chairman when Seamus Scally was appointed as Group Managing Director in 1997.
During his executive career with the business, Hugh Mackeown oversaw the introduction and rollout of the iconic SuperValu and Centra brands, initially with 49 stores in 1979 growing to some 660 stores today. During that period, he substantially refocused the business developing it beyond its cash and carry heritage to become a sophisticated retail partnership model, central to the development of the independent retail sector in Ireland. During Mr. Mackeown’s time the business, which is now also a significant force in the United Kingdom and Spanish retail sectors, grew in turnover from €7 million to in excess of €4.6 billion and supporting some 50,000 jobs. As non-executive Chairman, he has remained actively involved in the business working in partnership with both his successors Seamus Scally and Chris Martin, overseeing the strategic focus of the business. Mr. Mackeown resigns from the Board of Musgrave Group on 1 January 2011.
Seamus Scally is one of Ireland’s best known businessmen. He served as Group Managing Director of the Musgrave Group from 1997 to 2005 and is currently a non-executive director of the Group. During his time as Group Managing Director of Musgrave Group, the business evolved substantially, both domestically and internationally. Anticipating the rapidly changing consumer environment, Mr. Scally drove the development of the business based on convenience, value for money and range. Under his guidance as Group Managing Director, Musgrave was the first Irish business in the grocery retail sector to introduce centralised distribution of chilled, fresh and frozen food substantially expanding the business’ capacity. He continued the Group’s international expansion with the acquisition of the Budgens and Londis retail groups in Great Britain and expanding the Group’s footprint in South East Spain.
Commenting on his retirement, Hugh Mackeown, Chairman, Musgrave Group plc, said, “It is with an enormous sense of pride that I step down as Chairman of a truly remarkable business. From humble beginnings our business has evolved to support the growth and development of a highly sophisticated international retail partnership business. Supporting the growth and long term development of locally owned stores has provided consumers with wider choice and a real alternative to the multiples. While that growth has seen fundamental changes within the business, I am mindful that we have remained true to our values which put an emphasis on long term relationships and not being greedy.“
“The business will continue to be at the forefront of delivering change and supporting the growth of a vibrant independent retail sector in all our markets. In Seamus Scally, I have a successor of enormous strength and a depth of experience which is beyond parallel.“
“Personally I wish to thank everyone who has contributed to that success story throughout my time with the business and I am confident in the belief that the best years remain ahead.”
Mr. Seamus Scally, Chairman Designate, said, “It’s hard to overstate the contribution Hugh has made to development of retailing in Ireland. He combined a strong business ethic with a visionary zeal and determination to reshape the retail landscape in Ireland. In so doing, he leaves behind a business that has grown exponentially and continues to bring value and choice into the homes of consumers throughout communities in Ireland, the UK and Spain. I wish him the very best in his retirement.”
“Looking forward, I will continue to work with Chris Martin and the Executive team to drive the business forward. At a time of profound economic challenge in all our markets, partnering with our retailers and supporting hard pressed consumers will continue to be our driving focus.”