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Kankiwala will leave the role in September to pursue a ‘plural career’. Current non-executive director Robert Higginson has agreed to become interim chief executive.

Commenting on his decision to leave the bakery brand, Kankiwala said: “I have had the most incredible eight plus years at Hovis. Throughout my tenure, I have been humbled by the support, kindness, resilience and creativity of my team and colleagues, and I would like to them all for their contribution over the last eight years.

‘Plural commercial activities’

“Together, we have galvanised Hovis, leveraging its great heritage and fantastic quality to create one of the fastest growing, large scale, bread brands over the last few years. Hovis is now poised for its next stage of growth and it is time for me to step down and pursue a broader set of plural commercial activities.”

During his 40-year career in the fast-moving consumer goods sector, Kankiwala has held a number of senior roles with food and drink businesses.

Starting at Unilever in a number of commercial and operational roles, he went on to become president of PepsiCo’s soft drink business in Europe and Africa. Kankiwala went on to serve as Burger King International president before moving into a career with private equity businesses.

Eight years with Hovis

Aidan Robson, partner at Hovis owner Endless added: “I would like to thank Nish for his support and leadership since we acquired Hovis in 2020, especially in such challenging economic times. I would also like to thank Nish for the tremendous work he has done over the last eight years.