Alex Knight, the chief executive of Samworth Brothers, has stepped down just over a year after being appointed, the UK food group confirmed today (30 March).

Samworth group chairman Nick Linney said: “Alex has worked with the group for over 20 years but believes the business is best served by a change in structure. During his period as group chief executive, Alex has made an enormous contribution to the business and his leadership has been notable for his hard work, strong values and commitment during a busy period. We thank him for this.”

Leicester-based Samworth was asked by just-food if the company was considering a change in structure, but a spokesperson declined to comment.

In a statement, Samworth said group holdings board director Mark Samworth has taken on the chairmanship of the group executive board until a successor to Knight has been appointed, “following an open search process that will take place through the course of this year”.

Knight took up the group chief executive’s post in January 2016 after Lindsey Pownall stepped down for personal reasons, although the group said then Pownall would still work with Samworth as an advisor to its board.

Samworth counts Cornish pasty brand Ginsters in its range. The group announced in January it had acquired West Cornwall Pasty Co., a UK food-to-go retail chain specialising in making and selling pasties.