The managing director of an historic Midland carpet manufacturer has chosen to leave the business after 40 years service after he was ousted from the board at a heated AGM.

Alan Bullock, chairman of Victoria Carpets, part of Victoria PLC, elected to retire on November 13.

A bitter dispute had divided the 117-year-old Kidderminster firm along family lines, and its latest annual meeting saw both the UK and Australian managing directors stripped of their roles on the board – leaving the company with only two directors on its board.

The row surrounds the intentions of a consortium headed by Alexander Anton – the great-grandson of founder George Anton – who were backed by a large majority of voting shareholders at the meeting.

Mr Bullock claimed he has written evidence they plan to break up and sell the business – which the consortium refutes.

"I am retiring from a company that has a brand that I admire – the team I helped recruit over the years have the skills and knowledge to continue to keep Victoria as a leading brand name within an industry which over the years has seen many changes," Mr Bullock said.

"I wish them all well and thank all the staff around the group for their loyalty and service and wish them well in the future. I also acknowledge the customers who over the years have been loyal to the brand too."

Mr Bullock joined the business in 1972 and became managing director of Victoria Carpets in 1995.

He was appointed to the PLC board in 1996 and took on the role of group managing director, a position he held until August this year.

During his tenure, Mr Bullock was a key player in securing the company’s long-standing relationships with brands including John Lewis, Hilton International and the UK’s independent retail buying groups.

Mr Bullock also retires from his position as chairman of Westwood Yarns in West Yorkshire, a director of Victoria’s Australian business, and Colin Campbell and Sons in Canada, all of which are subsidiaries of Victoria PLC.