After an eight-month search, Weetabix has finally appointed a successor to CEO Ken Wood.

Giles Turrell, currently president of Kimberly-Clark's European consumer business, will join the Northamptonshire-based cereal manufacturer on 17 October. His responsibilities at Kimberly-Clark ­included the UK, France, Germany, Holland and some of Eastern Europe.

When Wood announced his retirement in February ('Hunt for Weetabix boss begins as Wood retires', 5 February, p56), he promised not to leave until a successor had been found. But he admitted it had taken longer than anticipated to make the appointment as the two candidates identified in the initial recruitment process pulled out.

"Our headhunters put forward two candidates who decided not to join us. It was bloody frustrating. But Giles is a good guy, young [44] and ambitious. And there's huge potential still in this brand," he said.

"The business in North America has been something of a trial, but it's coming good. My vision is that it can be at least twice its current size, but it will take time. It's currently a $160m business vs £460m in total.

"Our overall growth is 3% in a category whose sales are falling: we're pleased with that. This year we have absorbed £15m of commodity costs, and are still managing to come in with our numbers. And Alpen is going like a train with 30% y-o-y increases."

Wood claimed a seven-year-long overhaul of the business had put Weetabix in a strong position to weather the storm. "We've had price increases we've put through, but the whole cost structure of this business has changed dramatically. It's fit for competition come what may."

Wood was brought in when Lion Capital bought the Weetabix business from Hicks Muse Tate & Furst in November 2003.

"I leave on 17 October. We'll spend a couple of days together before that. Giles is a practised CEO he certainly doesn't need me around," he added.