James Truscott is to succeed Graeme Beattie as managing director of potato giant Branston in May.

Truscott, who joined Branston in 2013 from Tesco’s former US c-store chain Fresh & Easy, is promoted from the role of sales and marketing director. He will replace Beattie on 2 May. Beattie has been MD for 26 years.

“It is both a great privilege and challenge to be leading such a renowned and well respected business,” Truscott said. “Since my arrival I have had the pleasure to be working with some of the industry’s leading professionals and I look forward to moving the business forward alongside the talented team we have in place at Branston.

“On a personal level, I would like to thank Graeme for his guidance since my arrival and I look forward to working with him in this new role,” he said.

Chairman Guy McCracken added: “Graeme has made an outstanding contribution to the growth and development of Branston throughout his time as managing director and I am delighted he is remaining on the board so that we will continue to benefit from his skills and experience.

“James Truscott has been an excellent sales and marketing director and I look forward to working closely with him in his new role.”

Meanwhile, John Ward, a shareholder director of Branston for 26 years, retired from the board on 27 January.

 “I wish to thank John for his long-standing commitment to the Branston business and the help and advice he has consistently provided over that period which was greatly appreciated,” McCracken said.