Ken McMeikan has quit Greggs to become CEO at Brakes Group, as Brakes CEO Philip Jansen moves up to the role of chairman.

Jansen will become chairman on 1 April and also CEO of WorldPay - a payment processing company. Current chairman Dwight Poler will step down but remain a board member.

McMeikan will remain at Greggs until a new CEO is appointed.

“It has been a great honour to lead Greggs since 2008,” McMeikan said. “It is a wonderful company with fantastic people and I am enormously proud of all that we have achieved together. There are many exciting growth opportunities ahead for the business and the team are well placed to deliver them.”

“Given Brakes’ leading market position, great employees and strong plan, the company could not be better positioned to serve the European foodservice customer and lead the industry. I have had the opportunity to go through the five-year plan in detail and could not be more impressed with the group’s vision and investment plan. I look forward to working with the group’s talented management team and 10,000 employees to deliver on this plan,” he added.

Jansen said: “Thanks to the dedication of the 10,000 employees of Brakes, we have made great progress in 2012 and Brakes is well positioned to build on its leadership of the European foodservice distribution business. Given Brakes’ needs over the next five years, I feel it is the right time for me to move to become chairman of the board and for someone else to take over the role of CEO. Ken’s experience and skill set makes him the ideal CEO for Brakes in its next phase of growth and I could not be handing the position over to a more capable individual.”

Derek Netherton, chairman of Greggs, added: “We are very grateful to Ken for the valuable contribution he has made to Greggs. He has led the company through the major changes that have put us in a strong position for the future with a clear strategy for growth in a difficult environment. We wish Ken well in his new role.”