Best Served Cold (Paperback)
The Rise, Fall and Rise Again of Malcolm Walker - CEO of Iceland Foods
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Malcolm Walker was born in Yorkshire in 1946 and opened the first Iceland frozen food shop in 1970. Iceland became a public company in 1984, and had sales of £2 billion through 760 stores by 1999.
In 2000 Iceland merged with the Booker cash and carry business. Walker announced he would retire and sold half his Iceland shares. However, Iceland’s new management then slashed profit expectations. Walker was fired and spent three years under official investigation before being cleared of any wrongdoing.
In Walker’s absence, Iceland’s sales collapsed – and in 2005 he returned as its boss. His amazing revival has seen like-for-like sales grow by more than 50 per cent and Iceland win the accolade of Best Big Company to Work For in the UK. In 2012 Walker led a £1.5bn management buyout of the company and is now personally worth over £200m.
Walker’s life story is as dramatic as any you will find in business, and serves as a model for how hard work and intelligent risk-taking can build a national enterprise and a household name known to millions.
Malcolm Walker co-founded Iceland in 1970 and was its Chairman and Chief Executive through 30 years of continuous sales growth. He left Iceland under a cloud early in 2001, but returned four years later to lead a transformation in its performance. Iceland today has sales of £2.6 billion, 800 stores and 25,000 employees, and is recognised as one of the Best Companies to Work For in the UK.