Hostess Brands - the search is on for a new CEO.

Hostess Brands - the search is on for a new CEO.

US snack cake maker Hostess Brands has announced that its president and chief executive officer Bill Toler is to retire.

He will leave on 1 March next year, or sooner if a replacement is found, the Twinkies and Donettes owner said.

Toler will remain on the Kansas City-based company's board of directors.

Dean Metropoulos, executive chairman of the board, said: "On behalf of the board and management team I would like to thank Bill for his significant contributions to Hostess. 

"Under Bill's leadership, the company successfully re-established the iconic Hostess brand as a leader within the sweet baked goods category and transitioned from a private to public company. 

"Bill has led Hostess through a considerable growth phase and has generated significant stockholder value. It has been a pleasure working with him to establish a strong culture as a foundation for future success."

Toler said: "I am very proud of our accomplishments. Hostess has built a tremendous team and it has been a privilege and honour to work with them. They have contributed so significantly to our success and transformation. I will leave with great confidence in their abilities and the company's continued success."

The board has created a subcommittee to identify internal and external candidates to fill the president and CEO position. An executive search firm will also help with the process.

Metropoulos said: "The board will now focus on identifying the right candidate to lead Hostess into its next phases of growth." 

During the transition period Metropoulos will expand his duties as executive chairman as necessary to "ensure continuity of leadership", the company said

Hostess Brands dates back to 1919, when the Hostess CupCake was introduced to the public. It was followed by Twinkies in 1930.