Iceland has appointed Paul Foley as its first international business director, who will return to the retailer after 23 years to drive the grocer’s export business.

Foley has already joined the grocer, coming from his own consultancy business. He will join Iceland full time in January, and be responsible for the ITEX export business and it new retail operations in the Czech Republic.

Foley said: “I am greatly looking forward to joining the dynamic team at Iceland. 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.”

Foley has previously worked for Iceland, when he was a management trainee for Bejam which was acquired by Iceland in 1989. He then became Iceland’s Regional Manager for the South East and helped integrate the two companies. He later worked for Aldi before setting up his own consultancy.

Iceland chairman and chief executive Malcolm Walker said: “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.”

  • Iceland has agreed to sell its Cooltrader fascia to Heron Foods for an undisclosed sum. It has sold 54 to its 58 Cooltrader stores, which Walker founder in 2001 and Iceland acquired in 2005, to Heron.It is understood the stores will be converted to the Heron Foods fascia while the remaining four stores will be rebadged as Iceland