Whiskas owner Mars Petcare has appointed John Pickering as its new sales director, following the departure of Martin Porter to Heineken UK.

Pickering was previously sales director for Radox and Douwe Egberts owner Sara Lee in the UK and Ireland, but started his career at the chocolate division of Mars in 1992.

From 1998 to 2008 he held various roles at Kraft Foods and became sales strategy director in 2004.

Mars Petcare said Pickering’s “fmcg experience and affinity with the Mars culture” made him the ideal candidate to lead its sales division.

He replaces Porter, who spent 16 years at Mars Petcare and was appointed sales director for Heineken’s off-trade division in January.

In April, Mars Petcare announced it would use only sustainably sourced fish for its petfoods by 2020.