Northern Foods is restructuring its ready meals business in an attempt to improve service levels to its key customers. The division is to be split into two units: one dedicated to the manufacturing of Marks & Spencer meals and the other to its remaining two customers, Asda and Morrisons. "We believe the new management structure will strengthen the focus we can give to all three of our current customers and allows us to give Marks & Spencer a dedicated ready meals managing director," said Hilary Baker, director of communications. Julian Slade, who was MD of Northern Foods' Matthew Walker pudding business, will lead the new M&S unit. He has been with the company for two-and-a-half years and previously headed Northern Foods' group sales. Former Heinz director Robin Walker has been recruited to look after the rest of Northern's ready meals. He was previously chairman and chief executive of Heinz' Russian sauces group, Heinz Petrosoyuz. He has also held senior roles at Heinz UK & Ireland and run the European arm of Heinz baked beans and soup operations. Paul Kaye, who as managing director of the ready meals business was credited with returning the group's ready meals business to growth by stabilising sales volumes and securing new customers, has left for the newly created role of managing director of Dairy Crest's food business. This is the second restructure Northern Foods' chief executive Stefan Barden has undertaken in three months. In June, he reorganised the biscuit management team into three units: everyday biscuits, including Fox's and Rocky bars, managed by Mike Driver; seasonal biscuits, led by Rachel Copley; and retailer own-brand run by Elizabeth Hall.