Dominic Lowe, the MD of Cadbury-owned Green & Black's, is leaving the chocolate-maker to pursue "new entrepreneurial challenges".

He will be replaced by Sarah Barron, currently developed markets chocolate category innovation centre director at Cadbury.

Lowe, who has headed up the organic chocolate brand as MD since May 2007, will stand down in February. He told The Grocer that he was looking to remain in the food and drink sector although he had not made any concrete plans as to what his next project would be.

"The food and soft drinks sectors are where I have spent my entire career and I love it," he said. "I am very keen to find the next Green & Black's."

Lowe started his career at Schweppes GB in 1992 and moved with the company when it was sold to Coca-Cola in 1999. He joined Cadbury in 2002 and was involved with its purchase of Adams chewing gum.

Before taking the helm at Green & Black's, Lowe ran Cadbury's supply chain in Europe and Africa as well as holding the position of marketing director for Europe.

"Having got the taste for running a business and taking it to a global level, I've decided now is the time to move on in search of new entrepreneurial challenges," he added. "I know Green & Black's will continue to go from strength to strength and that Sarah will be a huge asset to the business."

During his tenure, Lowe has been responsible for rapid expansion of the brand in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Barron joined Cadbury in 2000 and has held a range of roles including marketing director for Southern Europe, based in Barcelona. When she takes up her new post in February she will be returning from maternity leave.

"We look forward to welcoming Sarah as MD," said Green & Black's founder and board member Craig Sams. "Her international experience together with her passion for chocolate is exactly what we need as we continue to recruit devotees of the brand from around the world."