Marks & Spencer’s director of business development Damian Guha has returned to Mars Petcare as its new UK MD.

Guha spent 16 years at Mars, including several years in Eastern Europe as marketing director for Mars Petcare in Poland and then as general manager for Mars in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. In the latter role, he was responsible for developing Mars Chocolate’s strategy in Eastern Europe.

He left Mars in 2011 to become trading director of the home business at Marks & Spencer, before becoming its director of business development.

Guha took up his new role as UK managing director of Mars Petcare last week.

“Having spent most of my career at Mars it’s a wonderful feeling to be back,” he said. “I can’t wait to get started, working together with our talented associates and retail partners to create a better world for pets.”

He takes over from Mike Gallacher who announced his decision to leave the business earlier this month.

Gallacher had led the UK business since 2011 and was credited by Nigyar Makhudova, president of Mars Petcare Europe, with refreshing the UK strategy and delivering strong results. Under his leadership, Mars has embraced price-marked packs in the convenience channel and expanded its range of bespoke healthy products.

Gallacher will stay on over the summer to help ensure a smooth transition.

Guha will be based at the company’s head office in Waltham-on-the-Wolds, Leicestershire.