Mike Taylor, managing director of Musgrave Budgens Londis (MBL), resigned with immediate effect on 13 November to "seek out new business opportunities elsewhere".

Taylor was MBL commercial director before becoming managing director in January 2005 following a management reshuffle.

Prior to that he was development director for Budgens.

"As many of my personal goals at MBL have been achieved, I now wish to seek out new business opportunities elsewhere," said Taylor.

"Given this backdrop, I have decided that it is now time for me to step aside and to allow a new leader to take the helm at Musgrave Budgens Londis.

"I am proud to have been part of the leadership team that has worked tremendously hard over the past two years to create and execute the vision that will form the basis of the company's success."

Taylor's aim as managing director at MBL was to transform the group into a national operator.

In March this year he announced the company had a strategy in place to open 25 stores a year. "I am glad to say the Musgrave business model is now firmly established in the

UK and the business is poised to move forward," said Taylor.

Budgens also plans to become a pure franchise operator by 2008.

MBL said the sell-off programme, with Taylor's help, had been highly successful and was ahead of schedule.

Martin Hyson, executive director of Musgrave Group, will take over the role of MBL MD until a successor is found. "I would like to thank Mike for his contribution and wish him well with his future plans," said Hyson. "Our business in the UK has a strong footprint and a clear strategy to grow and develop," said Chris Martin, chief executive of Musgrave Group.