Burton’s Biscuits has confirmed the departure of Ian Deste just six months after he joined the company.

Deste joined in July 2015, and was the company’s first managing director UK & Ireland. However, it has now been revealed that he left the company in December, and his duties have now been assumed by chief operating officer, Simon Browne.

Burton’s Biscuits refused to comment on why Deste had departed, or whether it would seek to find a replacement for his position.

A Burton’s Biscuits spokesperson said: “We can confirm that Ian Deste, Burton’s Biscuit Company’s managing director UK & Ireland, left the business in December 2015. Simon Browne, chief operating officer, has since taken responsibility for all UK commercial activities.”

Burton’s Biscuits is believed to be closing in on a deal to buy rival biscuit brand Fox’s from 2 Sisters Food Group.