The managing director of flour miller Rank Hovis has left the business just five months after joining.

Jon Gatfield, a former operations director at Burton’s Biscuits, joined the company, which is part of the wider Hovis group, in January after many years out of the food industry.

The departure of Gatfield so soon marks the latest in number of personnel problems at Hovis.

The company, which is owned in a joint venture by The Gores Group and Premier Foods, lost its chief executive Bob Spooner after just six months last October. And it took until May this year for the role to be filled by former Dairy Crest chief executive Martyn Wilks.

The company is also still looking for a chief financial officer following Michael Kennedy’s departure in January this year.

British Baker understands headhunters have been appointed to find a replacement to Gatfield, while Lawrence Watson, who was also made deputy managing director in January, is now responsible for the day-to-day running of Rank Hovis Milling Limited.

In a statement, Hovis, the parent company of the miller, said: “Jon Gatfield joined the business in January and left in May, having completed the strategic work that was required. Lawrence Watson, deputy managing director is responsible for the day-to-day running of the business and now reports to our new CEO, Martyn Wilks.”

Rank Hovis has 12 sites across the UK including its HQ, depots and mills.