Parmalat's chief executive officer, Calisto Tanzi, has resigned as chairman and chief executive of the troubled Italian food group, making way for turnaround expert Enrico Bondi.

Tanzi, 65, built Parmalat up from a pasteurisation plant in 1961 to become Italy's biggest food group, reported Reuters. The company now employs almost 35,000 people and operates in 30 countries.

Recently however, the company has been having financial difficulties, and last week it failed to recover an offshore investment and was unable to repay a €150m (US$185.2m) bond on time. The bond, which had been due last Monday, was eventually repaid on Friday after banks and the Italian government stepped in to help.

Parmalat said Bondi, who was appointed as a consultant last week and will now take over the role of CEO, would present his restructuring plan by the end of January.