Thorntons has hired former Somerfield finance director Mark Robson to take up the same position at the chocolatier.

Robson will take up his position no later than November 30 and will replace John Wall, who will remain in the position as long as necessary to ensure a successful transition.

Prior to joining Somerfield, he was at pub and bar chain SFI Holdings and before that at Claire’s Accessories. He started his career at BDO Stoy Hayward.

Thorntons chairman John von Spreckelsen said: “We are delighted that Mark has agreed to join Thorntons. He brings considerable experience of the retail and consumer goods sector and will be a great asset to the team at Thorntons.”

Thorntons has also created two distinct business units – retail and manufacturing. The retail unit will be headed by director of retail Lysanne McCallion. The objective of the restructuring is to create greater accountability and transparency.