Aryzta picks DAA boss Kevin Toland for CEO position

Troubled baked goods group Aryzta has hired Kevin Toland from the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) to be its new chief executive.

Mr Toland has headed the DAA for the past five years, during which time passenger numbers at Dublin Airport have increased from 19m to 28m passengers per year and the capital’s airport has emerged to be the fastest growing in Europe.

The DAA owns and operates Dublin and Cork airports. Aryzta said its board had unanimously selected Mr Toland “on the basis of his proven track record, deep global sector expertise and the specific relevance of his background and experience for Aryzta today”.

“Mr Toland has an established track record of successfully managing multiple stakeholder groups,” it said and that he had been selected after a rigorous process to select and recruit a world-class CEO.

Aryzta’s new management team, led by chairman Gary McGann, himself a former chair of the DAA, have been undertaking a strategy review and hunt for a new executive team since an erosion of investor confidence.

That investor unrest was fuelled by falling earnings and unpopular investment decisions. It led to the recent departure of chief executive Owen Killian, chief financial officer Patrick McEniff and head of American operations John Yamin.

Aryzta was formed by the 1998 merger of IAWS and Swiss firm Hiestand. It is best known here for its Cuisine de France bread and pastries ranges. Its share price is down over 24% this year. It fell by another 2.5% yesterday largely on uncertainty surrounding the future of its controversial 49% stake in highly-indebted French food retailer Picard, which has been a major frustration for shareholders.

Mr Toland is scheduled to take up his new job after a customary six-month notice period, or earlier if agreed, and Aryzta’s board will be hoping he can not only summon the magic touch he has shown at the DAA, but also some of the results he presided over when head of dairy group Glanbia’s US operations between 2003 and 2013.

There he led Glanbia USA & Global Nutritionals to becoming the largest manufacturer and exporter of American-style cheese in the US and a global leader in the sports nutrition market. During his time at the helm, that business grew from a standing start to revenues of over $1bn.

The US Cheese business, alone, more than doubled revenues to $1.8bn and increased its US market share from 6% to 13% on Mr Toland’s watch.

“The division he led employed more than 2,600 people in four global business units across north America, Europe and Asia,” said Aryzta.

More in this Section

Battle of big forces at Ryanair

More public investment needed for Cork to thrive

Too early to tell whether prices and wages will rise

Little room for hot air in energy debate

Breaking Stories

Airbus chief executive steps down as under-fire company revamps management

Boost for €1.67bn US tourism trade as Ireland scoops ‘best destination’ award in New York

Over 600 new hotel rooms planned for Galway from 2020

Data reveals Cork Airport as one of the happiest airports in the world


Scenes from the analogue city - Memories of Limerick from the late 80s and early 90s

Ask Audrey: 'I heard that Viagra fumes from Pfizer’s were causing stiffys below in Ringaskiddy'

The 12 drinks of Christmas - Top tipples for the festive season

Sex advice with Suzi Godson: My boyfriend is too noisy during sex

More From The Irish Examiner