French artisan bakery and patisserie Paul has appointed Kathryn Pretzel-Shiels as marketing director of its UK and US operations.

Pretzel-Shiels, formerly of American Express, will lead the marketing strategy of the group, which has more than 36 sites in the UK.

Jean-Michel Orieux, chief executive of Paul UK, said: “We are delighted to have Kathryn on board at PAUL.

“Her extensive experience in the UK, EMEA and USA markets is invaluable to the development of our brand. Since PAUL launched the first Covent Garden site in 2000, the UK estate has grown to over 36 sites and Kathryn will be instrumental in our continued expansion across both the UK and USA.”

Pretzel-Shiels added: “Paul embodies excellence in quality and with its remarkable growth across several markets, I am delighted to be taking on the role of marketing director to help further develop the brand in both the UK and USA.

”I’m looking forward to expanding on the traditions of PAUL and the timeless French way of life, building and strengthening relationships with our customers and developing brand awareness.”