Mr Kipling owner Premier Foods – which is currently seeking a chief executive – has now been forced to start the search for a chairman.

Keith Hamill, who was appointed chairman at Premier less than two years ago, has told the company he plans to step down in July.

The news follows Gavin Darby quitting as chief executive six months after seeing off a bid by the firm’s largest independent investor to oust him from the role. The company is currently seeking a replacement, with chief financial officer Alastair Murray acting as interim CEO.

Thanking Hamill for his work, Premier has also this week announced the appointment of two non-executive directors to two permanent positions.

Richard Hodgson has been appointed senior independent director and Pam Powell has been appointed chair of the remuneration committee.

Hodgson is to lead the recruitment process for a permanent chairman.

Earlier this month, Premier announced plans to sell a range of food products including cakes under a new plant-based brand.