Richard Vaughan-Hawkins has left family-owned wine merchant Unwins where he was head of purchasing.
His departure follows that of Unwins' chief executive David Wetz in January after the company announced plans to develop a wider convenience-store style offering (The Grocer, July 27, 2002).
David Armstrong has been appointed interim head of purchasing.
He was previously trading director at First Quench, which has taken the name of the Thresher Group.
Vaughan-Hawkins worked for Unwins for 19 years.
A spokeswoman said: "We are using the opportunity afforded by Vaughan-Hawkins' departure to restructure the purchasing department."
The company is still seeking a replacement for Wetz and the spokeswoman added that further staff changes would be announced later.