Tate & Lyle has named Sir Peter Gershon as its new chairman-elect.

Gershon joins the board of the sugar giant as a non-executive director and will succeed current figurehead Sir David Lees as chairman before the end of 2009.

Gershon is a former chief executive of the Office of Government Commerce and has an extensive background in electronics and telecoms.

“This is an exciting time to be joining Tate & Lyle, following the significant re-shaping of the Group over the last few years under the focused and diligent leadership of Sir David Lees and [chief executive] Iain Ferguson,” Gershon said.

“I am greatly looking forward to working with Sir David, Iain and the rest of the Tate & Lyle board on the many opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.”