Dave Brooks, chief executive of major own-brand premium cakes supplier Finsbury Food Group, who steered the business into its number two position within the UK cake industry, is to step down from his role with effect from 29 September.

Brooks will be replaced by major shareholder Martin Lightbody, previously group strategic development director.

Brooks, 41, who spearheaded the group’s acquisition trail after it formed in 2002, told British Baker that his departure would be unlikely to lead to a change of direction for Finsbury.

He said: "I don’t see us moving away from premium, celebration, health or from our brands.

"The board is very clear that the next 18 months will be about driving the businesses we’ve got during tough econo-mic times."

Brooks revealed he had no imminent plans, other than to fulfil a consultancy role for Finsbury until March 2009, and left for personal reasons.

Lightbody said "The group has an excellent portfolio of products, so despite the fact that I am taking over at a challenging time, it is an opportunity I relish."