The struggling cider producer HP Bulmer Holdings announced today that its executive director Tim Furse has tendered his resignation.

In a statement the company said he had done so "in order to pursue his career outside the company."

He will leave the business at the end of May 2003.

The company added that in the period up to May, Furse will focus his attention on the implementation of the company's international strategy.

As well, Furse steps down from his position as a member of the board of directors of HP Bulmer Holdings, with immediate effect.

Furse's resignation is the latest in a line of senior departures from the company. Having seen its shareprice plummet from 429p to as low as 73p in 2002, after issuing a string of profit warnings, Bulmer lost both its CEO and financial director.

However, in December the company confirmed reports that Miles Templeman, formerly the head of Whitbread Beer Company, before it was acquired by Interbrew, had accepted the job as the new CEO.