Young’s Seafood Limited has announced the appointment of Pete Ward as its new CEO.

Ward, the supplier’s current deputy CEO, joined the business in 1978 and takes over from James Hill, who will concentrate on his other role as CEO of Young’s parent company Findus Group.

Hill, who took over as Young’s CEO last March after the departure of Leendert den Hollander from the role, said Ward’s knowledge and experience of the seafood industry was “second to none”, and had been “crucial to the development of the company”.

“Having spent time with Young’s over the past nine months and got to know Pete, I think he can be a better CEO of the company,” he added. Hill will now focus on the development of Findus’ business on the continent. The remainder of the Young’s executive team remains unchanged.

Ward has held a number of leadership roles within the frozen and chilled categories of the business, and was instrumental in increasing turnover in the chilled category from £4m to £400m, and developing the supplier’s Fish for Life CSR programme, which focuses on responsible sourcing, said Hill.

“I’m delighted to lead such an impressive team of fish experts – from our development chef to our marine biologist, marketers and production operatives,” Ward said.

He added that “innovation was key” to developing the business further, “regardless of the temperature of the seafood”.