Roger Carr is to become chairman of Cadbury's, after the confectionery company hives off its American soft drinks wing, probably in June, and drops "Schweppes" from its name.

Mr Carr was criticised recently for his role as non-executive chairman of the pubs group Mitchells & Butler which lost £274 million in an interest swap deal undertaken in connection with a property deal that had to be abandoned.

Mr Carr is also chairman of the British Gas company Centrica and a director of the Bank of England and an adviser to the huge US private equity buy-out specialist Kohlberg Kravis Roberts.

He has been deputy chairman of Cadbury Schweppes since 2003 and will step up after the de-merger to succeed Sir John Sunderland, who is retiring after a 40-year career with Cadbury.

Cadbury's shares were among the biggest losers on the stock market yesterday, sliding 33p to 579p after the company announced a two per cent dip in underlying profits last year to £1.05 billion.