US food distributor Fleming has appointed Peter Willmott as interim chief executive and president replacing Mark Hansen, who has resigned.

Willmott - who is chairman of Willmott Services - joined the Fleming board in December.

At the same time the group named Archie Dykes, a director of Fleming since 1981, as non-executive chairman. Robert Allen was named acting operating officer, a newly created position.

Willmott and Allen are directing day-to-day operations of the company while the board searches for more permanent replacements.