Malcolm Ritchie, chief executive of United Biscuits, which was acquired by private equity groups Blackstone and PAI for a reported £1.6bn in October, has left the company.

Ritchie joined UB in 2000 and, according to the company, had decided “the time was right for him to move on”.

Also leaving the business are management services director Bill Winthrop, and Mohamed Elsarky, managing director of Northern Europe.

When the acquisition is completed, David Fish will change his role from non-executive to executive chairman, while Benoit Testard will expand his role as managing director of UBUK by taking over the whole UK business including manufacturing and logistics teams.