Maurice Pratt said the repositioning strategy he had tried to implement for Magners has not lived up to expectations and so he will step down as soon as a replacement can be found.
He said: “The past two years have been very challenging for C&C and despite our best efforts we have not achieved our ambitions for the business.
“As chief executive I have to be accountable and take responsibility for business performance. The company has to take important strategic choices and I have therefore decided it is time to stand aside and allow a new CEO to bring fresh thinking and impetus to the business.”
Chairman Tony O’Brien said: “The Board of C&C fully respects Maurice Pratt’s decision to resign as chief executive. Maurice has given seven years of unstinting commitment to the company and his experience and drive has been invaluable.”
C&C revenues fell 13% in the six months to Aug 31 and the company warned of a “material drop” in operating profits during the second half of the year.
Although Magners sales are still growing in the UK, Nielsen figures show that it is not keeping pace with the wider cider market. Best-selling brand Strongbow is extending its lead in the off-trade and Bulmers Original is rapidly gaining ground on its Irish rival.