Iceland aims to take brand worldwide with hire of former Aldi boss

Iceland Foods has hired former Aldi managing director Paul Foley with a brief to identify new opportunities to grow the Iceland brand across global markets.

Paul Foley: joining Iceland
Paul Foley: joining Iceland

Foley will take up the role of international business director. The company already operates an export business to over 30 countries around the world and a retail business in the Czech Republic.

He joins Iceland from his own consultancy, having previously operated as Aldi group managing director for the UK and Ireland, helping to develop a 500-store business with a turnover of £2bn. Foley will be based in Vienna, Austria, and report directly to Iceland chief executive Malcolm Walker.

The incoming executive has already worked for Iceland in the past, having begun his retail career in 1976 as a management trainee with Bejam, which was acquired by Iceland in 1989.

Foley helped integrate Bejam and Iceland as Iceland’s regional manager for the South East, but left the company in 1989 to join Aldi’s UK start-up business as sales director.

Foley said: "The strength of the business’s performance in recent years is a testament to the strength of the brand, the often underrated quality of Iceland products and the quite remarkable business culture that gives Iceland such a very special feeling as a place to work."

Iceland chief executive Walker added: "I was very sorry to lose Paul in 1989. It has not been easy to persuade him to come back and work for us, and I am absolutely delighted that he has agreed to do so.

"His exceptional track record and skill set make him the ideal person to lead Iceland’s development outside the UK, whether that be through exports, franchising, acquisitions or store openings.

"The global potential of the Iceland brand is huge and I am very excited by the many opportunities that Paul’s appointment will help to open up."

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