Warburtons marketing director Richard Hayes has left just days before the family-run baker embarks on its biggest-ever marketing push.

An £8.2m campaign kicks off this month to showcase the range and tastiness of breakfast options in the Warburtons portfolio.

Warburtons will go into the campaign without Hayes, who left last week, after five years, having joined from distiller Whyte & Mackay.

“Richard did a cracking job,” said chairman Jonathan Warburton. “But we needed to move on and so did he. Our parting was extremely amicable. “

Hayes’ departure follows the arrival of two new recruits to the Warburtons business management board. The baker told The Grocer in January that Sue Yell had been recruited as HR director from Iceland, and Northern Foods group procurement director Alex Mayfield joined as business solutions director in charge of logistics, supply chain, food safety, health & safety and engineering.

Meanwhile, Warburtons last week reopened the Bolton bakery that fire forced it to close in July 2010. The company invested £25m in the refit, which led to the closure of its Oldham bakery last month.

“The facilities needed to be updated, and productivity has to be upped to satisfy modern consumer and customer needs,” said Warburton.

The company had made 73 redundancies as a result of the Oldham closure. Warburton said they were regrettable but that the situation had been well handled.

“The grown-up behaviour of the people who left the business has been exemplary. Each individual has had four personal consultations, but we’ve not had a minute’s trouble, which hopefully reflects our sympathetic treatment,” he said.