Culina Group’s chief executive Thomas van Mourik said he would be stepping down from the helm after 30 years to be replaced by the company’s current chilled business CEO Ian Smith.

Mourik said he would take up a new role as group chairman from October, supporting the company in a part-time capacity.

He described his three decades at the top since Culina’s beginnings in Market Drayton as “fantastic” and that it had been an honour and privilege to work as a group CEO.

Thomas van Mourik - Culina Group CEO

Thomas van Mourik - Culina Group CEO

On his replacement, van Mourik said in an announcement to staff: “Ian has done an exceptional job since his arrival and has the full support of the board around him, and so please be confident that it will be very much business as usual as we drive Culina Group forward in a sustainable and responsible manner.”

Deputy CEO William Stobart will also step down from his role and will continue with the company as a non-executive director of the group board.

Van Mourik added that as a consequence of Smith’s promotion, Steve Winwood will become CEO for Culina’s chilled business.

He also announced the retirement of non-executive director and industry stalwart Glyn Davies: “Glyn has been a much valued and well respected figure in our business and the wider industry for many years, and with his vast experience has played his full part in the Culina journey,” he said.

“He leaves us with massive appreciation and best wishes for a long and healthy retirement.”