Mars Food UK has promoted Neil Reynolds to the post of sales director in the wake of Tristan Butt’s departure.

Butt left Mars in July having been at the company for just over a year to join as head of vendor management (footwear, bags and accessories).

Reynolds steps into his shoes after moving across from Mars Chocolate, where he was customer and shopper marketing director for two-and-a-half years. Prior to that, he was the chocolate division’s trading director.

Reynolds will report into Emma Evison, general manager of Mars Food, which owns brands including Dolmio, Uncle Ben’s and Seeds of Change.

Since joining Mars 11 years ago from university, he has worked in a variety of roles in the three main branches of the business - pet care, food and chocolate.

“Neil is a real asset to the team and has a wealth of experience built within the Mars business,” Evison said. “We are committed to keeping and nurturing talent and Neil is a fantastic example of this.”

Reynolds said he was looking forward to working on big name brands like Dolmio, which now accounts for almost £1 in every £4 spent on cooking sauces in the UK.

“I am proud and excited to be taking on this new role,” he said. “Working with an inspiring team on some of the UK’s leading food brands is really exciting and I look forward to enhancing the team’s focus on all sales channels.”

Mars has appointed Nicola Lacey to take Reynolds’ place as customer and shopper marketing director for Mars Chocolate. Lacey was previously strategy director.

Next week, Mars Chocolate will open a new R&D facility at its headquarters in Slough. The opening will be attended by business minister Michael Fallon.