Retail Food Group appoints new chief to lead transformation

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 30th May 2018

Retail Food Group has promoted its Australian boss to lead a group-wide transformation program designed to turn the page on a poor +2017.

Richard Hinson, a former Metcash state manager who had only joined the business as Australian CEO in January 2018, will serve as RFG’s new group chief, effective immediately.

He will replace managing director Andre Nell.

RFG, which owns the Gloria Jeans, Donut King, Crust Pizza and Michel’s Patisserie brands, has seen its financial performance wane in the wake of several media scandals, reporting an $88 million interim loss in March.

RFG’s share price has declined more than 80 per cent in the months since allegations of unscrupulous business practices driving franchisees out of business surfaced in the media.

Hinson will work with Di Bella Coffee chief Darren Dench and CFO Peter McGettigan to urgently implement the findings of a recent strategic review, which occurred in the wake of the scandals last year.

This will include improving the performance and sustainability of RFG’s franchise network, simplifying its operations as well as improving product range and quality over the next 12-18 months.

Announcing the appointment on Tuesday morning, RFG chairman Colin Archer claimed there were green shoots appearing in the franchisor’s domestic business since Hinson joined at the start of the year.

“[Hinson] is gaining the confidence of our franchisees and has restored some momentum to the business by delivering immediate benefits and focusing on longer term strategic plans for each brand system,” he said.