Management Team

Hironobu Asai

Chief Executive Officer Hironobu joined Mizkan Euro in 2015. After his bioengineering master’s degree, he started working at the Mizkan Group in 1998. He started off developing vinegar production systems in Japan. Later, as MD of Mizkan Thailand, he helped popularise Japanese food in Asia. Upon his return to Japan, he headed up the finance and accounting division and led acquisitions in North America. Hironobu is committed to delivering the Branston, Sarson’s, and Haywards heritage brands as fans know and love them. He would also like Mizkan to continue contributing to Japanese food and culture across the world.

Hironobu’s Mizkan Meal
Tofu salad with Mizkan Kaorinokura ponzu.

George Zarifi

Chief Operating Officer George joined Mizkan Euro in 2017, with over 20 years of experience in the global consumer goods industry. His career began in Canada, where he obtained his MBA. He soon set off to take up international leadership roles. He worked in Greece, China, and the UK with Reckitt Benckiser. Then with Danone, he moved to Poland, Italy, and Japan. With his entrepreneurial flair, George is leading the way for Mizkan Euro to meet evolving consumer and customer needs through innovation. He aims to help build a global and iconic Mizkan business that will thrive for another two centuries.

George’s Mizkan Meal
Great sushi made with Mizkan sushi seasoning.

Tomoyuki (Tommy) Isshiki

Chief Financial Officer Tommy joined the Mizkan Group in 2012 and moved to Mizkan Euro in 2018. Prior to that, as the CFO for Mizkan America, he played a key role in establishing the North American business as it is today. He started his career with Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, working in finance and planning, credit management, operations/ risk management, and general management. He has extensive international experience over the past 20 years, counting London, Milan, and Tokyo among the cities he has lived and worked in. Tommy’s priority is reinforcing Mizkan Corporate Governance and promoting an aligned Mizkan Group.

Tommy’s Mizkan Meal
Shabu shabu with Mizkan’s Ajipon ponzu.

Bryan Carroll

Sales & Marketing Director Bryan joined Mizkan Euro in 2018, and has over 20 years of commercial experience in FMCG across multiple categories, channels, and markets. Throughout his career, he has worked in the food and beverage industry across sales and marketing functions. Following his business degree, Bryan joined PepsiCo and Walkers, where he worked for several years before moving to SHS Drinks. Bryan’s focus is delivering profitable growth by strengthening and growing Mizkan Euro’s brand portfolio across Europe in both retail and foodservice.

Bryan’s Mizkan Meal
Fish & chips covered in delicious Sarson’s Malt Vinegar.

Gavin Johnston

Finance Director Gavin joined Mizkan Euro in 2014. He spent the formative years of his career at Ernst & Young, where he qualified as a chartered accountant. His subsequent moves spanned a range of industries, with roles at multinational blue-chip media, consumer goods, and high-tech organisations. Building on his audit background, Gavin gained excellent experience running finance operations, shared services, systems implementation, change management, M&A, and restructuring projects. Gavin is passionate about continuously improving Mizkan Euro’s processes to reduce costs and enhance profitability.

Gavin’s Mizkan Meal
Extra mature cheddar sandwich on crunchy wholemeal bread with Branston Original.

Andrew Shaw

Operations & Supply Chain Director Andrew joined Mizkan Euro in 2018. His career in supply chain began nearly 20 years ago after university with roles in food production management at RHM and Walker Crisps. He later joined Mars in the UK and Europe in supply chain and then healthcare firms Seven Seas and Merck Biopharma. The latter took him to Switzerland in global supply chain and Barcelona in factory management. He returned to the UK with Amazon in delivery operations, before making his way back to the food industry and joining Mizkan. Andrew aims to put Mizkan foods into as many kitchens as possible.

Andrew’s Mizkan meal
Strong cheddar, rocket and Haywards Piccalilli on a brown bread sandwich.

Paul Tirebuck

Human Resources Director Paul joined Mizkan Euro in 2013. He is a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD, with over 25 years of HR experience. He began his career in food production management before making the move to human resources. He has held a wide variety of HR roles at Northern Foods, Prize Food Group, Uniq Prepared Foods, and Greencore. Paul’s areas of expertise include organisational and cultural change, and business operational improvement. He seeks to apply effective HR strategies to engage and develop employees and grow Mizkan Euro.

Paul’s Mizkan meal
Home-cooked Bolognaise sauce with a slug of Branston Small Chunk Pickle.

Alison Robertson

Quality & Technical Director Alison joined Mizkan Euro in 2018. She has over 25 years of experience in the food industry in technical and product development, including own-label. She has travelled the world working on major projects for retailers such as Tesco. She later set up her own consultancy company and helped food manufacturers solve problems to meet retail standards. Before joining Mizkan, she spent 12 years with Hain Daniels as Group Technical Director across three divisions: chilled, frozen, and grocery. Alison strives to ensure all consumers have a great experience with Mizkan foods.

Alison’s Mizkan Meal
Sarson’s Pickle In 15 with vegetables and marinade.