Middleby UK axes MD role amid restructuring

Kenny Smith crop
Kenny Smith has now been made redundant from Middleby UK.

Supplier, Middleby UK, has shaken up its workforce structure.

The firm has axed the role of MD, making the incumbent Kenny Smith redundant.

Smith confirmed in a post on LinkedIn: “I have been released from the company due to restructuring. I want to thank everyone I worked with for the efforts they made during my time with Middleby UK.”

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In November last year, Chris Jones took the helm as group MD of all Middleby Group brands including Middleby UK, with Smith reporting into him. Prior to that, Jones’ role only covered Lincat, IMC and Britannia Kitchen Ventilation.

Meanwhile, Chris Clark has started at Middleby UK in the new role of national sales manager. Joining from Utopia Tableware, Clark previously spent 12 years in various roles at catering equipment dealer giant, Nisbets.

He wrote on LinkedIn: “I am delighted to be part of Middleby; the welcome has been incredible and I am excited to work alongside such a passionate and dedicated team.”

Furthermore, the supplier recently announced that orders can now be placed later in the day and still qualify for next-day delivery.

The company has extended its ordering cut-off to 5pm Monday to Thursday and 4.30pm on Friday for next working day delivery within the UK.

The personnel changes come as part of what is understood to be a wider restructuring within Middleby group businesses as the company plans for the future post-Covid-19, including changes to its UK manufacturing set-up and in particular its Wrexham production base where IMC and Britannia Kitchen Ventilation products have been produced.

Middleby UK, based in Wigan, is part of the USA-headquartered Middleby Corporation. Middleby UK represents a portfolio of brands such as Pitco, Houno, Carter Hoffman, PerfectFry, Concordia and TurboChef, Lincat, IMC and Britannia Kitchen Ventilation.

Tags : appointmentmiddlebymiddleby groupMiddleby UKpeopleredundancies
Clare Nicholls

The author Clare Nicholls


  1. sorry to hear that Kenny, hope something comes up soon.
    Your one of the good guys in our industry.
    Best wishes.

  2. Another good guy gone! I’m not sure who’s got rid of more people over the last 18 months between Christian Jones & Covid-19? It’s certainly a close run race! Good luck to Kenny and so many others who find themselves out on the cold in our industry. Let’s hope we see most of them back with companies that treat them with the respect they deserve in the near future.

  3. I was shocked and saddened when I found out that Kenny was leaving MUK.
    I have known Kenny for many years; we first met when I worked at Dawson MMP, and subsequently Winterhalter. Kenny was employed in the distribution market and boy could he sell my products.
    We then worked together at Enodis and he quickly gained experience how to interact with overseas manufacturers, not easy I can assure you.
    At MUK he was a mainstay in rebuilding the company, this when the company was on its knees. He joined knowing we could close within months if we did not turn things around.
    As Sales Director with IMC he did a very good job, working with Steve Witt. When we sadly lost our good friend and colleague Andy Walter, he returned to MUK as Sales Director and was a big support again to the company, and me.
    He has over the years honed his skills with the overseas manufacturers and is very well respected by them for his vision and market awareness and his product knowledge of Middleby brands is second to none. He also knows the Achilles Heel of MUK!
    It was reassuring when I retired that Kenny was there to step in. Who will do that now? Who has the experience that is undoubtedly required? I must also add he did the MD job without the support of a Sales Director, no mean feat.
    I know there is a company that will pick Kenny up, and succeed. It may take time but Middleby will certainly miss him.
    Good luck Kenny, and anyone requiring a reference, you just got it.

  4. Really sorry to hear this Kenny, we only met on a few occasions but I found you to be very professional and enthusiastic about your products and the industry.
    I hope that you find something soon.
    All the best Kenny

  5. Kenny; you’d been a good friend over the years through some very challenging times, this current situation is no different.
    You have a wealth of knowledge of the industry and MUK products which makes this decision all the more inexplicable, although, we predicted this some time ago.
    I don’t need to say; you know where I am if you need anything, but I will say it for anyone that I know who needs help in the current situation.

  6. Really sorry to hear this. Another one of the good guys falls victim to corporate “restructure” Someday they’ll realise that you need to look after your greatest resource and not discard them to chase profits and appease the shareholders. Can’t help but think this isn’t the full story. Good luck Kenny. Keep in touch and if I can help you know where you can reach me

  7. I worked with and for Kenny for 3 years when I was at MUK. He is a true professional and a great guy to work with and for.

    He took on Middleby UK and then drove the business forward.

    He understands the business and will be a great loss for the group.

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