In a public show of support for its biggest customer, Robert Wiseman Dairies has promoted Richard Jones to the new role of Tesco account ­director.

Jones moves up from the role of national accounts manager. He joined Robert Wiseman's graduate training scheme in 1999, where he spent several years in operations before moving to the national accounts team in 2002. Since then he has been responsible for a number of multiples' accounts. Latterly, his role ­has focused solely on Tesco and its c-store chain One Stop.

The Tesco account director role is a new position on Wiseman's senior management team although not at board level and Jones will report to national accounts director David Peat. It will place Jones at the centre of the company's supply relationship with Tesco, to which Wiseman supplies around 55% of its total fresh milk requirement. In December last year, Wiseman increased its volumes to Tesco by an ­additional 35 million litres a year.

"This promotion is recognition of the contribution that Richard is making to the business and our relationship with our largest customer, Tesco," said David Dobbins, group commercial director for Robert Wiseman Dairies.

Jones' appointment is the latest in a string of senior hires at the company. Last month, the dairy giant created a new trading ­department, promoting Patrick Davenport to the role of trading director. Neil Hughes was also appointed to the new role of engineering director, and Julian Bell was named HR director.