The sacking of Woodward Foodservice MD Ed Hyslop and trading director Dave Howarth this week could have been a result of the business biting off more than it could chew.

Baugur, which has a controlling stake in the company, is believed to have been unhappy with the progress the Woodward management team had made on integrating the DBC Foodservice business it bought in August 2005.

Taking on the £130m MoD contract last October may have resulted in Woodward taking its eye off the ball, said one senior foodservice figure.

"I have always thought that in business, two new major projects running at the same time, is one too many," he said.

In an interview with The Grocer in January, Hyslop said he felt as if he was running three separate businesses. Former finance director Andrew Ramsden is now acting MD. Baugur is also believed to have turned to founder Jeremy Woodward for advice.

Baugur refused to comment on the two dismissals.