Board of Directors
Robert Watson OBE
Robert joined Hilton as Chief Executive in 2002 and was appointed as Executive Chairman in 2018. He transitioned to a non-executive capacity on 1 January 2021. Prior to this, he worked for the Foyle Food Group ('Foyle'), which he founded with his father and partner in 1977. At Foyle, he worked his way up through various positions to become Chief Executive Officer in 1987, and led Foyle through significant turnover growth. Robert gained an Institute of Directors diploma in 1996, received an OBE in 2000 for services to the meat industry and in 2005 was accepted into the Entrepreneur Hall of Fame in Northern Ireland. He was also an industry leader during the BSE crisis, representing Northern Ireland, and is a government appointee to various industry forums. He was a board member of the Livestock Meat Commission (LMC) from 1995 to 1999, and Food For Britain (FFB) from 1997 to 2003. Robert is Chairman of the Nomination Committee.
Chief Executive Officer
Philip joined Hilton Food Group at its inception in 1994 as Managing Director progressing to Chief Operating Officer and was appointed Chief Executive Officer on 1 July 2018. He is responsible for all Hilton Food Group businesses with its major customers. From 1986 to 1990, Philip was Sales Director, and earlier production manager, for Romford Wholesale Meats Limited, supplying a number of different retailers with meat products. Philip attended Smithfield College and became an associate member of the Institute of Meat in 1984.
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
Nigel was appointed as Finance Director of Hilton Food Group in 2006. He joined Hilton Food Group after 11 years with PepsiCo, from 1995 until 2006, most recently as Chief Financial Officer of Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and prior to this as Finance Director for Pepsi-Cola General Bottlers, Poland. From 1990 until 1995, Nigel gained extensive meat industry experience at Bernard Matthews plc, first as Financial Controller, then as Commercial Director for the then newly acquired leading poultry company in Hungary. Nigel has also worked in various finance roles for Royal Dutch Shell plc and Whitbread and Co plc. He is a qualified Chartered Accountant and graduated from Birmingham Polytechnic in 1981 with a first class honours degree in accountancy. Nigel is Chairman of the Risk Management Committee.
Christine joined Hilton Food Group in 2016 and was originally a food scientist before devoting the 14 years to 2003 with Tesco in senior roles focusing on own brand, non-food and global sourcing. She has since worked globally with a wide range of food and non-food retailing businesses and currently holds Non-Executive Directorships with Sonae SGPS SA (Portugal), Coca-Cola European Partners plc, zooplus AG (Germany), Clipper Logistics plc and several private companies as well as numerous advisory roles. Former Non-Executive Director positions were held until recently with Next plc, Woolworths Limited (Australia), Brambles Limited (Australia) and Kathmandu Holdings Limited (New Zealand). Christine is Chair of the Remuneration Committee.
John joined Hilton Food Group in 2016 and is a Chartered Accountant with a wealth of experience in public companies and the food sector. He was Group Finance Director at Genus plc retiring in 2013 and previously was Group Finance Director and Deputy Chairman of Uniq plc. John currently holds Non-Executive Directorships at Fidessa Group plc and Carr’s Group plc and formerly was a Non-Executive Director at Cranswick plc and Connect Group plc. He was also a member of the Financial Reporting Review Panel. John is Chairman of the Audit Committee and is the Senior Independent Director.
Angus joined Hilton Food Group in 2018 and has extensive knowledge and experience in public companies and the food and retail sectors with an MA in natural sciences and PhD from the University of Cambridge. He has held numerous executive and non-executive roles across a range of industry sectors including Mars, BT, Abbey National and WPP. Angus is currently Non-Executive Chairman at McColl’s Retail Group plc and Co-Chairman of Direct Wines Ltd and was formerly Chief Executive of the Professional Cricketers' Association, Non-Executive Director and Senior Independent Director of Punch Taverns plc and Non-Executive Director of TDC A/S (Denmark).
Rebecca joined Hilton as an independent Non-Executive Director on 1 April 2020. Rebecca has held market-facing investor relations and corporate communications roles at a number of listed companies. She was Group Communications Director and a member of the Executive Committee at Tesco plc and more recently was Global Corporate Affairs Director at TP ICAP plc. Her previous experience includes roles at Norwich Union plc, Prudential plc and as a partner at Brunswick LLP. She was also on the Board of the British Retail Consortium and a Trustee of the Institute of Grocery Distribution. Rebecca is currently a Non-Executive Director at Sabre Insurance Group plc and Arraco Global Markets Ltd. She has a BA (Hons) in Philosophy and Literature from the University of Warwick and an MBA in International Business and Marketing from Cass Business School.