C&C shares sank by nearly 4.5% as investors reacted negatively to news that the drinks group is looking for a chief executive following the sudden departure of Stephen Glancey.
Mr Glancey has led the cider and beer group since 2012 and has been with it since 2008, joining as part of the team of former Scottish and Newcastle brewery executives who took over the day-to-day running of the business.
C&C — chiefly known for twin cider brands Bulmers and Magners, as well as Tennent’s lager — will now be led, on an interim basis by chairman Stewart Gilliland.
Although Mr Glancey has left his role with immediate effect, C&C said that he will formally leave the group at the end of next month and remains “available” to assist with “a smooth handover”.
Mr Glancey “oversaw significant change at the group over a long period and was the architect of C&C’s vertically integrated strategy,” said Davy analyst Cathal Kenny.
“He had the strategic foresight and confidence to effect the Matthew Clark transaction, which has transformed the equity story.
"He leaves the business against a backdrop of positive operating momentum with a platform that has enhanced potential.”
Mr Glancey was paid a base salary of €675,000 last year, but earned a total package of nearly €1.8m after a €540,000 bonus; 80% of his salary.
The significantly-inflated bonus was due to him delivering on the acquisitions of distribution businesses Matthew Clark and Bibendum, which have helped transform C&C’s UK fortunes.
He will receive a salary in lieu of notice, for C&C’s current financial year which runs to the end of next month, and is eligible for an annual bonus depending on the company hitting certain performance targets.
C&C said it remains on track for double-digit earnings per share growth for the year.