Sterling Supergroup has appointed Vanessa Cooper as chief executive.
Cooper was promoted to group co-ordinator when former chief executive Anne Tomlinson retired at the end of 2007, and has now been given the title chief executive.
Cooper has worked for Sterling Supergroup for five years and was previously employed in the IT industry.
She said that the company had been evolving and the board members were getting more closely involved as the company worked on re-branding and developing its first own label range, which will be launched this month.
Sterling has been trading since 1966 and has a turnover in excess of pound;560m, predominantly in foodservice products.