Thorntons finance director Mark Robson has left the chocolatier after two years with the business.

Robson is to step down in March in order to take up a position with a private equity owned company in another sector, a spokeswoman confirmed.

The search for Robson’s replacement has been initiated but no timescale has been set.

He joined Thorntons in November 2009 and was appointed to the board in December of the same year. The qualified chartered accountant was previously director of finance at Somerfield reporting to the group finance director. 

Robson had previously held the position of finance director at SFI Holdings Limited, the pub and bar chain, Claire’s Accessories (UK) Limited and Alldays, the convenience store group.

Thorntons chief executive Jonathan Hart said: “Mark has played an important role over the past two years in improving our business and laying the foundations for our long term, transformational strategy.”