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Succession planning in William Jackson Food Group: An exemplar case study

Lorna Collins (School of Business and Entrepreneurship, Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester, United Kingdom)
Barbara Murray (Consultant, Madrid, Spain)
Ken McCracken (Withers Consultancy Group LLP, London, United Kingdom)

Journal of Family Business Management

ISSN: 2043-6238

Article publication date: 13 April 2015




This paper is a conversation piece which highlights the ways in which succession planning in large company might be handled. The discussion focuses on Christopher Oughtred the former Chairman of William Jackson Food Group, one of the largest family businesses in the UK. The paper aims to discuss these issues.


This paper presents a conversation with a panel of leading family business experts and a family business owner. The paper presents latest thoughts on family business research, insights into a real family business succession project and reflections from a former Chairman on the succession process.


Findings highlight possible stages and requirements of a successful transition and succession plan. Also suggestions for areas of further research are presented.


The conversation recorded in this paper represents a rare opportunity to obtain reflections and insights on a succession process and how it was managed in a large family business. The conversation also highlights the kinds of challenges often experienced by family businesses during transition and succession. As a case study this is an exemplar of how succession might be planned.



Collins, L., Murray, B. and McCracken, K. (2015), "Succession planning in William Jackson Food Group: An exemplar case study", Journal of Family Business Management, Vol. 5 No. 1, pp. 2-16.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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