VION Food Group is a global food group, headquartered in Holland with a turnover of circa €9billion and employing some 27,000 employees worldwide.

Within the UK, VION is represented by VION Food Group Limited, employing circa 14,000 employees generating revenues of €2.3 billion.

“Gary quickly became a respected member of the Executive Management Team, and worked closely with me as an experienced sounding board for my thoughts and ideas. He performed a similar role with other EMT members, adding value to them and their contributions to the development of the business.Gary’s experience and judgement was instrumental in effecting key decisions which have played a major role migrating the culture of the business towards a single team working with VION’s core values.” 

Steve Francis, Managing Director, VION Food Group Ltd.

A key focus in 2009 was the integration of the existing VION UK operations with those of Grampian Country Food Group and J&J Tranfield, whose acquisitions in 2008 added value to the business and enabled VION to strengthen its strategic position in the UK. This was a complex task in a complex business covering 50 operating sites and full integrated supply chains.

The complexity of the integration process was most marked for the Pork Business Unit and it continued into 2010, being made more difficult by a very challenging economic climate and an increasingly aggressive trading environment.

Tasked with meeting challenging performance targets by the end of 2011, the Executive Management Team (EMT) of the Pork BU embarked on an 18 month transition and restructuring programme designed to optimise the business footprint, and strengthen and build product ledger.

As a result, in August 2010 Gary Fisher was asked to join the Pork BU EMT as interim Senior HR Director to add his experience and expertise of business turn-around and restructuring to that endeavour.

In the ten months duration of the assignment, Gary worked closely with the MD and his EMT in areas of re-structuring and re-organising, and this has included activities covering Organisation Design and consequent downsizing; rationalisation of terms and conditions of employment; targeted recruitment to help strengthen the operations and commercial functions of the business; leadership conference planning and orchestration; and mentoring the individual EMT members as required in order to help mould them into a high performance team.

These activities were undertaken with the BU HR Director whom Gary was also asked to coach and mentor, to help transition him into a more strategic, higher level performer. In addition, Gary worked closely with the HRD to develop an HR strategy and plan, and build the HR structure and team to deliver it. He also participated in VION Group HR activities as required.

Commenting on Gary’s contribution to the transition programme, MD Steve Francis said “Gary quickly became a respected member of the EMT, and worked closely with me as an experienced sounding board for my thoughts and ideas. He performed a similar role with other EMT members, adding value to them and their contributions to the development of the business.” He added: “Gary has worked closely with our HR Director to ensure that re-structuring plans were delivered on schedule, and has helped develop him into a more strategic and higher level performer, progressing him into a true business partner of the EMT. In fact, we have asked Gary to carry on this good work on a part time basis for the next six months. The HR function is in the process of change and now has a strategy and plan to follow that will undoubtedly add value to our business.”

“Overall,” commented Steve, “Gary’s experience and judgement was instrumental in effecting key decisions which have played a major role migrating the culture of the business towards a single team working with VION’s core values.”