Ian Gregg was a newly qualified solicitor when he took over the family bakery upon his father’s death in 1964. Now, nearly 40 years later, he chairs the eponymous company that boasts 1,100 retail outlets and a listing in the FTSE 250.

Gregg has announced plans to retire from his role at the head of Britain’s largest bakers next year, however and yesterday [Thursday], the company named Derek Metherton as chairman designate.

Metherton, who worked in investment banking before retiring in 1996 from being joint head of corporate finance at J. Henry Schroder & Co, holds a number of other non-executive positions.

He will joins the Greggs board tomorrow.