Group CEO appointment

SSP Group, a leading operator of food and beverage outlets in travel locations worldwide, today announces the appointment of Patrick Coveney to the role of Group CEO, effective 31st March 2022. This follows the announcement on 14th July 2021 that Simon Smith is to leave the business in December. Jonathan Davies, in his role as Deputy CEO and CFO, will lead the Group Executive Committee and oversee day to day business prior to Patrick joining.

Patrick will join SSP from Greencore Group plc, a leading producer of convenience foods in the UK and Ireland, which is a member of the FTSE 250. Patrick has been the Group Chief Executive Officer of Greencore since 2008, following more than two years as Chief Financial Officer. Under Patrick’s leadership, Greencore transformed into an international leader in value added convenience food, most notably in food-to-go. He delivered a strong track record of growth, combining organic and strategic expansion, forging deep, long-term partnerships with Greencore’s customers across the UK, US and Europe. Patrick has also been instrumental in driving significant cultural change, building capability, developing people, and embedding sustainability into Greencore’s strategy.

Prior to joining Greencore, he worked for nine years at McKinsey & Company in Europe and North America, latterly as Managing Partner for Ireland. Patrick serves as a non-executive director of Glanbia plc and Core Media.

Mike Clasper, Chair of the Board, said, “We are pleased to announce the appointment of Patrick who will join us as we emerge from the pandemic with considerable momentum.  Patrick is a strong and strategic leader, combining this with proven financial and operational experience in some of the most competitive categories in the food sector.  His customer and colleague focus make him ideally placed to lead SSP to future success.  Patrick will be well supported by Jonathan Davies, who together with the Executive Committee and Board will ensure we complete a smooth transition.”

“On behalf of the Board, I would also like to take the opportunity to thank Simon for his significant contribution to the Group during his time at SSP”.

Patrick Coveney said, “I am absolutely delighted to be appointed as SSP’s next Group CEO as it builds back from the pandemic. The business has a strong Board, a highly experienced leadership team and thousands of dedicated colleagues across the world. It also has a clear strategy, deep relationships with client and brand partners, and a robust balance sheet. I look forward to working with the teams to seize the many opportunities that lie ahead and to delivering future growth and returns for SSP and its shareholders.”