Former Budgens CEO to be chairman
Chocolate manufacturer and retailer Thorntons has appointed John von Spreckelsen as chairman. He starts today.

Von Spreckelson was chief executive officer at c-store operator Budgens for nine years, before moving to grocery retailer Somerfield in 2000 to become executive chairman.

He will be working in an executive capacity to determine the strategic plan for Thorntons going forward. The company said he would 'work closely with the executive directors to deliver the agreed plan'.

Von Spreckelsen is also chairman of Gartmore European Investment Trust, Safestore Holdings in the UK and Forstinger Handel und Service in Austria. He said: 'Thorntons has an excellent product range and brand. I am looking forward to making a contribution to this company, which has such a great tradition and heritage.'

Senior independent director John Jackson added: 'The board are delighted that they have secured the services of such a high calibre retail professional who has a proven track record of delivering excellent shareholder returns in the businesses he has managed.'