Company secretary leaves food giant

Associated British Foods (ABF) has lost its second company secretary in just six months.

David Wilson, who is also director of legal services at the FTSE 100-listed food giant, joined the company in September last year from Debenhams, where he was general counsel and company secretary.

It is unclear what has happened to Wilson since leaving the post.

A spokesman at ABF says: “David left for personal reasons and we have somebody in his place on secondment from Herbert Smith. I don’t think we have got anything more to say about it.”

He adds that he does not know where Wilson has gone and has no contact details for him.

Wilson’s post is being filled by Mark Geday, a company partner at Herbert Smith who took the helm at the client last week in a temporary capacity.

Wilson moved to ABF last year when its company secretary and director of legal services Trevor Shaw stepped down.

Shaw stayed on as a board member and kept responsibility for pensions, but said at the time that he wanted to retire from full-time duties.

Wilson is one of the top names in the sector. Before joining Debenhams at the beginning of 1998 he was group company secretary of British American Tobacco.

ABF has seven lawyers in its in-house department and outsources work to Herbert Smith and London-based niche firm Blount Petre Kramer.

The company is the UK’s leading bread-maker and has a brand portfolio including Kingsmill, Sunblest, Ryvita and Burton Wagon Wheels.