Geoff Eaton, chief operating officer of Premier Foods, has stepped down from the board with immediate effect and will leave the company.

The firm revealed the news yesterday (4 February) explaining the move was part of “a flatter executive management structure”, which would “enable commercial and functional management to report directly to the CEO”.

As part of the new managerial structure, Premier has decided that the chief operating officer role will cease to exist.

Premier Foods announced the move just over a week after the company’s current chief executive Michael Clarke announced he was stepping down from his position, to be succeeded by Gavin Darby, former boss of telecoms company Cable & Wireless, who took up the chief executive position on 4 February.

Commenting on the move, Darby said: "I would like to thank Geoff for his contribution to the company and wish him well in his future career. I very much look forward to working with the management team to continue the transformation of Premier Foods."