Peter Baker, managing director of Maple Leaf Bakery, UK, has recently retired from the business. Cliff Irwin, previously finance director, has now moved across to replace him as the new managing director.

Baker was a member of the Maple Leaf Foods executive council, a leading food processing company, headquartered in Toronto, Canada. The company employs 22,500 people worldwide with sales of $5bn.

Speaking exclusively to British Baker he said: “As a non-executive director of European Oat Millers, based in Bedford, I will now seek to add other NED positions. I also intend to work with other food businesses to develop their potential.”

Appointed in 2009 to Maple Leaf, a leading supplier of morning goods to UK retailers, Baker was responsible for the business’ restructuring and growth. The company, which had seven sites in 2009, is now concentrating on Viennoiserie (croissants) and bagels at two large sites at Maidstone and Rotherham, where the recent relaunch of New York Bakery bagels has seen continued growth, and averaged 20% per year for the last four years.

Baker said: “I have enjoyed over 30 years in the bakery and consumer packaged goods industry and am now enjoying the arrival of our first grandchild!”

Prior to joining Maple Leaf, Baker, aged 60, served as chief executive of La Fornaia, which was acquired by Maple Leaf Foods in late 2007, a position he held from 2003 to 2007.

Under his leadership, sales and profits at La Fornaia increased significantly, driven by innovative products. At that time he was also a NED at Jordans Cereals and helped its integration into Jordans Ryvita, now part of ABF.

But many will also remember him prior to 2003 when he was chief operating officer at RHM Consumer Brands and managing and divisional director of British Bakeries, where he took Hovis from a 9% UK market share to 23%. He was also divisional managing director of RHM Cereals and managing director of Rank Hovis flour millers.