Asda’s senior category director for bakery has left after 15 years’ service. 

James Cawthorne has reportedly left to pursue interests outside the company. He joined the bakery team in a buying role in 2010, having started his career at Asda in the electrical department.

Derek Lawlor, vice-president, fresh, said: “In that time he has been a valued colleague who worked across various food and general merchandise categories, becoming bakery category director in 2013.

“Although I’m sorry to see James go, he has built a dedicated, passionate team and delivered key trading initiatives, which will see us fit to continue to deliver a market-leading bakery category.

“I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank James for his contribution to Asda over the last 15 years. I am sure you will all join me in wishing James every success for the future as he embarks upon the next chapter of his career."

The departure of Cawthorne comes after a period of intense development of the American-owned superstores’ bakery offer. In recent years it has introduced photo cakes, Millie’s cookies concessions, Pick & Mix bakery and pancake hot plates.