Innocent’s first-ever CEO is Doug Lamont, The Grocer can reveal.

The current director of marketing and innovation will step up to the newly created position to lead an eight-strong executive board, when co-founders Adam Balon, Richard Reed and Jon Wright step down next month from day-to-day responsibility after selling a majority stake in the juice and smoothies business to Coca-Cola.

Lamont, 39, has worked for Innocent since 2006, originally as head of new opportunities. After running This Water, he masterminded its second (and hugely successful) attempt to break into NFC fruit juices. “We’re massively excited Doug is taking on the role,” said Reed. “He’s delivered nothing but success, has a brilliant brain, a warm heart and strong hands.

A number of Innocent’s existing executive board will be promoted: UK commercial director Dave Pickup is appointed UK MD, business planning director Charles Carter becomes European MD, and supply chain director Steve Spall will take on “a bucket of extra responsibility” as group operations director.

There are also two new board appointments with head of fruit Sam Simister promoted to supply chain director and European marketing director Franz Bruckner replacing Lamont as group marketing and innovation director.

Reed was confident Innocent would go from strength to strength, and the standalone board would be retained from Coca-Cola. “We’ve been a constant. And if we can help, we’re still there. But what changed was these new people that came in. They’re the reason the business grew. The structure now is a better structure, with a wider range of talents, and a guy in charge who’s a true believer in the Innocent ethos, has a great track record, is passionate about the company and its values and is therefore the ideal person to lead the business.”

Lamont added: “I’m honoured to be offered the opportunity to lead such a fantastic business and brand with so many talented people around me.”