Burton's former chief executive Paul Kitchener has rejoined the industry as Premier Foods' new group technical and innovation director.

Kitchener, who stepped down from the driving seat at Burton's in 2009 due to ill health after six years with the company, joined Premier's board this week and will report to chief executive Robert Schofield.

In his new role, Kitchener will take on responsibility for maximising and extending Premier Foods' technical capability across its manufacturing business.

Prior to his role at Burton's, Kitchener was UK CEO of foodservice giant Brakes and held senior supply chain roles within United Biscuits. Premier said the hire illustrated its commitment to developing breakthrough innovation and driving technical advancement in its manufacturing process.

The move would enable the company to be at the cutting edge of new product development and to fast-track exciting new products and formats into market, it added.

"Paul's appointment demonstrates our commitment to unlocking the huge technological capability and scale of this business so we can continue to rejuvenate our fantastic portfolio of great British brands and bring exciting new products and formats to market," said Schofield.

"Paul has extensive operational and commercial experience and his appointment is critical to helping us achieve long-term profitable growth for Premier Foods."

Kitchener described Premier Foods as having "a tremendous track record of rejuvenating and growing its brands through advancements in technology and innovation.

"I am excited about helping take this business to the next level by delivering exceptional product and process innovation," he added.

At its interims in August, Premier said it remained "open minded" about disposals to accelerate the reduction of its £1.6bn debt. Its meat-free business Quorn and East Anglian canning arm are currently on the block.