Bells Stores has reshuffled its senior management team following the surprise departure of MD Richard Collins.
Collins joined the north east based c-store chain in November 2000 as commercial director, becoming MD in November 2001 as boss Steven Bell took up the post of vice chairman.
His departure has prompted a rejig at the top of the company. IT and finance director David Graham and Steven Bell are now joint MDs, with Bell assuming responsibility for trading and Graham taking responsibility for HQ, warehouse and distribution.
Collins said he would be able to discuss his plans in more detail at the end of the month, but had left Bells because he was looking for a new challenge. During his tenure, he spearheaded a £7m investment programme into the business to boost store numbers from 50 to 70 and refurbish the estate.
Bell added: "We have a greater investment planned this year in new stores than in any year to date."