Outgoing Adams Foods chief executive Ian Toal is gearing up for a new “high-energy” project to take on when he leaves at the end of the month.

Toal, who is stepping down after just over three years in the CEO role, was brought in to overhaul Adams strategically and said he was now leaving it “in good shape with a great team.”

“This is my decision,” he added. “I’ve always said I wanted to give myself three years to take the company from good to great, and we have done that.

“We have consolidated the business on one site, negotiated a significant strategic supply arrangement with First milk, taken Pilgrim’s Choice to clear second spot in the Cheddar category and increased turnover from £260m to £460m in three years. All the big-ticket items I wanted to do are done.”

Toal said there was also an “element of knowing when the time is right” to depart. With Neil Kennedy - the former chairman of dairy UK and CEO of Milk Link - set to step in as interim CEO for the next three to six months, Adams Foods owner the IDB now had time to find the right long-term successor.

After leaving Adams, Toal said he would “take a small amount of time off,” to travel and pursue personal projects, and had a few options for his next position. He would be on hand to assist Adams Foods until the end of the year, he added.

IDB chief executive Kevin Lane said Toal, a former MD of Delice de France and trading director of foodservice supplier Brakes, had brought “great energy and drive” to his role at Adams.