Robin Barr, the veteran chairman of Irn-Bru maker AG Barr, has announced his intention to retire after more than three decades at the helm of the soft drinks group.

Barr, who has been a director of the group for 44 years, including 31 as chairman, will be succeeded by Ronnie Hanna in May.

However, Barr – the last boardroom representative of the company’s founding family – will continue to sit on the group’s board. He will be joined as a non-executive director by Jonathan Warburton, the chairman of bakery giant Warburtons.

“Now is the right time for me to step down as chairman after 31 years in the role – the business is in excellent shape with a strong and stable executive team,” Barr said.

“[Hanna] will provide the leadership, experience and drive to maintain the positive momentum in the business despite the current difficult economic times.”

Hanna added: “I know I will be heading a strong and stable team with significant opportunities to continue to develop the business. I am also delighted Robin has agreed to remain on the board.

“I would like to take this opportunity to welcome Jonathan to our board and we are all looking forward to working with him in the future.”