One of Britain’s largest bakery brands, Warburtons, has announced the appointment of Mary-Ann Kilby as its new Managing Director. Still 5th generation family owned, Jonathan Warburton will continue his role as Chairman, supported by his cousins Brett and Ross Warburton as Executive Directors. 

Mary-Ann has over 30 years’ experience within the food industry, most recently at Samworth Brothers where she held MD and senior commercial leadership roles at Melton Foods and Saladworks before becoming Group Executive Board Director in 2018. Through these roles she achieved transformational business performance with a strong focus on people leadership whilst building deep commercial partnerships. She brings to the business a wealth of commercial experience and operational understanding.

In early 2022, Mary-Ann joined Warburtons as a Non-Executive Director and has since built a good understanding of the business, its culture, values and long-term ambitions. Mary-Ann will lead the operational Leadership Board and will work closely with the Warburtons family. 

Jonathan Warburton, Chairman, commented: “I have known Mary-Ann for many years and am delighted to welcome her into her new role at Warburtons. The last few years have been challenging for all in the industry, but as we look ahead, we remain focused on continuing to invest in innovation, quality and our people. I am certain, that with her vast experience, common values and leadership qualities Mary-Ann will continue to drive the long-term growth of our business.” 

Mary-Ann Kilby commented: “Warburtons is a great British brand which has a real focus on investing in long term growth. I am proud to be joining such an ambitious family business which places great importance not only on making the highest quality products but on its partnership approach working with its customers. The family values and culture of the business make Warburtons unique and special. I am very much looking forward to getting to know the people in the 28 sites across the country.”

Warburtons was founded in 1876 in Bolton and is still owned and managed by the fifth generation, Jonathan, Ross and Brett. The leading bakery brand in the UK, Warburtons makes over 70 products at its 11 bakeries, and delivers fresh to over 18,500 stores each day from its 16 depots. 

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Editor: Kiran Grewal