Kellogg president and CEO David Mackay is to quit the business in the New Year, the US cereal maker said today (6 December).

Mackay has told the Kellogg board that he plans to step down from the two roles and from his post as director from 1 January.

The 55-year-old has worked for the Special K and Frosties maker for over 20 years. He joined Kellogg as a product manager within its Australian business in 1985. In 2003, Mackay became company president and at the end of 2006 took the role of CEO.

Announcing his plan to leave Kellogg, Mackay said he wanted to spend more time with his family.

“I have had the distinct privilege of working for this great company over the past 20 years and serving as its CEO for the past four years. This past summer, I became eligible to retire and made a commitment to spend more time with my family,” Mackay said.

John Bryant, Kellogg’s chief operating officer, will replace Mackay as president and CEO. Australian Bryant, 45, joined Kellogg in 1998 to develop its global strategy.

Bryant said he was “honoured and humbled” to have been appointed to lead Kellogg.