Former Tesco director Peter Wright has been hired as marketing director of chocolate specialist Thorntons.

He will take up his appointment by August 13, replacing Philip Douty, who left the company in November.

Wright spent eight years with Tesco where he held a number of senior marketing posts, including UK director for marketing, UK director for stores and non-food marketing, and marketing director for Tesco Ireland.

Before joining the supermarket, he was global marketing director for Gordon's Gin at Diageo.

He joined the drinks group as a graduate trainee and over an 11-year period worked his way up through a number of senior marketing positions both in the United Kingdom and internationally.

"We believe Peter's

expertise will help us further strengthen Thorntons and facilitate the delivery

of our sales and marketing-led strategy," said Thorntons chief executive Mike Davies.

Davies said Thorntons was making progress following a difficult start to the year in a recent trading update. It revealed that sales to multiple grocers grew 55.1% in the three months to 14 April, helping the company to overall sales growth of 11.6% in the period.