KEN McMeikan is leaving Greggs to take up the top job at catering supplier, the Brakes Group.
Mr McMeikan is to stay on as chief executive of the Newcastle-based baker until a successor is appointed.
Derek Netherton, chairman of Greggs, said "We are very grateful to Ken for the valuable contribution he has made to Greggs.
“He has led the company through the major changes that have put us in a strong position for the future with a clear strategy for growth in a difficult environment. We wish Ken well in his new role."
Mr McMeikan said it had been an “honour” to lead Greggs since 2008.
“It is a wonderful company with fantastic people and I am enormously proud of all that we have achieved together,” he said.
“There are many exciting growth opportunities ahead for the business and the team are well placed to deliver them."
He will take up his position as chief executive of Brakes Group, a Kent-based supplier to the foodservice sector in the UK, Ireland, France and Sweden, in due course.
:: Click here to read our article from 2009 when Ken McMeikan first joined Greggs: A new man in the Greggs boardroom