After painstakingly merging two giant businesses together, Kraft UK & Ireland president Nick Bunker is moving to United Biscuits - to help dismantle it.

Bunker will join UB next month as the CEO of KP snacks, tasked with breathing new life into its recently separated snacks business.

KP Snacks is the second-largest bagged snacks company in the UK and boasts McCoy’s, Hula Hoops, KP nuts and Skips, as well as Phileas Fogg, Space Raiders, Nik Naks and Wheat Crunchies.

Bunker began his career at Mars confectionery before stints at UB’s international division and Terry’s of York.

Following his move to Kraft, he held a variety of roles - leading its operations in the Middle East, Czech Republic and Slovakia - but is best known for his successful if controversial merger of Cadbury with Kraft’s UK operations. He also chairs the Food & Drink Federation’s sustainability steering group.

“The snacks business contains some of the best-known names in the category,” said Bunker. “I look forward to building on the company’s success with these brands.”

Industry insiders said the move was a natural step for Bunker given his leadership role at Kraft.

“When you look at guys in CEO roles, many come from senior management positions in large multinationals and have shipped out to give it a go,” said a source. “KP is a good move in that respect.”

As well as looking to compete more effectively against the Walkers incursion into ridge crisps, another source was relishing Bunker’s plans for Phileas Fogg. “It’s had more relaunches than Madonna,” he quipped.

Maurizio Brusadelli will take up Bunker’s old post after 19 years with Kraft, most recently as head of gum & candy in Europe, based in Zurich.