Vibrant Foods has appointed Damian Guha to head up the UK-based Asian-style food business as current CEO Umesh Parmar moves to a new role.

Guha joins Vibrant Foods – created in 2020 by London-based investor Exponent Private Equity by the merger of TRS Foods and East End Foods – from Netherlands-headquartered Upfield. He served the plant-based foods business, which owns the Flora and Violife brands, as managing director for the UK and Ireland.

Previously he held “senior positions” in Europe and the UK at confectionery giant Mars and retailer Marks and Spencer.

Parmar will shift to Vibrant Foods’ managing director overseeing operations, supply chain and procurement.

Meanwhile, executive chairman Rohit Samani will step back from his current role occupied since November 2019 to become “special adviser” to the company’s board. Nish Kankiwala takes the new non-executive chair seat.

Kankiwala was previously a non-executive director at retailer John Lewis and was also recently CEO and chair of Hovis until leaving the UK-based bread maker – acquired by private-equity firm Endless in 2020 – last year.

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By GlobalData

Vibrant Foods has grown in recent years through M&A under Samani’s guidance, buying up Asian-style food business Cofresh Snack Foods, paneer maker Everest Dairies and in 2020 the spices and pulses segment of Fudco.

Incoming CEO Guha said in a statement: “To become CEO of a company with such distinctive brands and rich heritage is truly exciting. I would like to express my gratitude to Rohit for his outstanding work as chair, and I look forward to working together to deliver on Vibrant Foods’ next phase of growth.”