Last week Gurr, who has led Blueheath since he set up the company in April 2001, said he was stepping down from his role on 31 August following a review of the business (The Grocer, 3 June, p20). Aylwin will now join Blueheath in September to take over the chief executive officer role.
Aylwin has worked at MBL since May last year when he was appointed supply chain director with a brief to develop a national chilled network, drive efficiencies and improve service to independent retailers. During his time there he had prioritised his work to focus on boosting picking accuracy, availability and service levels for retailers.
Earlier this year he said he planned to transform MBL's supply chain by 2008 so that it could provide independents with the best multi-temperature supply chain in the business (The Grocer, 25 February, p5).
Prior to MBL, Aylwin worked at Safeway. He joined store operations in 1984 and moved into supply chain management in 1992.
Five years later he became director of supply chain operations. Promoted to the board as supply director, he was responsible for servicing 520 stores through 18 distribution centres.
Industry insiders cautiously welcomed Aylwin's appointment but said that it remained to be seen what he would do in the role.
But Colin Smith, chairman of Blueheath, who steps down in August, said: "Mark's skills and experience will be a huge asset."