Ronnie Bell has quit as chairman of Premier Foods after less than two years in the role.

Premier said senior independent director David Beever would fill in as interim chairman during the hunt for a successor to Bell, who exits the company with immediate effect.

The company said Bell had quit in order to “focus on his other business and governance commitments”.

“Having set a course to turn the company around, I believe it is an appropriate time to step down,” said Bell. “We now have the right management, strategic and financial foundations in place to drive Premier Foods’ return to growth.”

Bell presided over the appointment last year of Michael Clarke as Premier’s chief executive.