The finance director of Birmingham pub group Mitchells & Butlers is to leave the firm.

Jeremy Townsend announced he would be resigning to join the board of Rentokil Initial as chief financial officer.

The announcement comes barely a month after the composition of the board was overhauled at the company’s AGM by majority shareholder Piedmont, the investment vehicle of billionaire Joe Lewis.

The departure of Mr Townsend will mean just two of the seven directors – chief executive Adam Fowle and NED Sir Tim Lankester – were not nominated by Piedmont and its backers.

Piedmont, which was accused of trying to take control of M&B and was behind the appointment of its new chairman, also has the option to appoint another non-executive director.

Fleet Street-based Mitchells & Butlers said it had started a recruitment process, and Mr Townsend would be staying on for six months while they look for a replacement. It is still waiting to give a confirmed date for Mr Townsend’s departure.

M&B chief executive Adam Fowle said: “Jeremy has made a significant contribution to Mitchells & Butlers particularly since taking on the role of finance director in difficult circumstances two years ago. The board would like to thank him for his work and wish him well in his future career.”