Gluten-free bakery brand Genius Gluten Free has named Colin Stephens commercial director.

Stephens, who will leave his position as commercial director at Whitworths, will succeed David Shaw and will begin his new role at Genius from 1 January 2018.

He will report to Genius CEO Jeremy Bradley, who said the company was delighted to welcome Stephens to the team.

“Colin has a strong track record of driving growth in private equity-backed environments, which will stand him in good stead for working with our talented commercial team,” said Bradley.

“The free-from market is enjoying continued growth both in the UK and across the globe, and we look forward to working with Colin to help continue Genius’ success and boost category growth.”

Stephens will liaise with the business over the coming months to familiarise himself with his new role and the commercial team as it looks to strengthen its position within the free-from market.

The move follows the relaunch of the brand at the end of September, which was supported by a £1m marketing campaign and two new products. The business also announced in April that it would be ending production of non-branded products to focus on developing its brand.