Derek Netherton is to step down as chairman of Greggs, the c1,600-strong high street bakery and café operator, with non-executive director Ian Durrant set to succeed him. Netherton, who became chairman of the group in March 2002, informed the company of his intention to step down as chairman and as a director with effect from the close of its next AGM, currently scheduled for 15 May 2013. Durant was appointed as an independent non-executive director of the chain last October and he is currently chairman of its Audit Committee. He is also chairman of Capital and Counties Properties PLC and a non-executive director of Greene King and Home Retail Group. The company, which is led by chief executive Ken McMeikan, said that the search for a new independent non-executive director to take over the chair of the Audit Committee had now started.