Gluten-free brand Genius has appointed Sir Bill Gammell as a new non-executive chairman to its board.

The chairman of Cairn Energy joins the manufacturer of gluten-free products succeeding corporate financier Edward Murray, who will remain a non-executive director alongside former Marks and Spencer senior group executive Ernie Finch. 

Gammell, who himself is gluten-intolerant, invested in Genius in 2009 after being given a loaf of bread made by the company’s founder Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne. He said: “At the time, Lucinda was looking for financial backing to commercialise her gluten-free bread. As a long-suffering coeliac, I was over the moon to be able to tuck into tasty bread once again and it was an easy decision to invest in Lucinda’s vision.

“Since then, Lucinda and her team have grown Genius into a rapidly expanding international food group and I am delighted to be able to join the board at this exciting time in the company’s development.”

Roz Cuschieri, chief executive of Genius, said: “Sir Bill brings a wealth of international experience to Genius and we are incredibly fortunate to have him on board as we strive to create a truly global food business. I should also like to thank Janice Gammell for her tireless efforts in developing this business since the very early days of the company.”

Janice Gammell, director of Figured Ltd, will step down from the Genius board after serving on it for three years.

Genius, whose gluten-free products are stocked in UK supermarket chains and independent high street grocers, recently announced a deal with Carrefour to supply to its Spanish stores. The firm also broke into North America last year through a manufacturing partnership with US food group Glutino.

Last year Genius recorded retail sales of over £23m – less than three years since the company was founded.