Nigel Williams has stepped down as finance director of Starbucks UK after five-and-a-half years in the role, M&C Report understands.

Williams has let the company to relocate to Australia and become chief financial officer of Collins Foods Ltd where he is responsible for leading and developing the business and the brands it operates - KFC, Sizzler & Snag Stand.

He spent 10 years at Starbucks in total after over three years as financial controller at Pret A Manger.

Earlier this month, Howard Schultz, founder and chief executive of Starbucks, said he believed that the global coffee chain can maintain, at least for the next five years, a minimum of 10% revenue growth along with 15% to 20% EPS growth.

Schultz also said that” last year’s class of new stores is the best new class the company has had in its history.

He also that people “shouldn’t believe everything you read in a newspaper” over the tax scandal that hit the company in 2012.

Answering a question put to him by The Times at EY’s World Entrepreneur of the Year competition in Monte Carlo, Schultz said: “I can tell you unequivocally that we have done the right thing with regards to the tax issue that you are referring to, I promise you that.”

He insisted that Starbucks was committed to paying the right level of tax because it wants to “do the right thing in every aspect of our business”.

Schultz said that the coverage of the affair “took on a life of its own” and that Starbucks giant had been portrayed in “a pretty bad way”.

The company was heavily criticised by MPs and tax campaigners in 2012 when a Reuters investigation revealed that it had paid only £8.6m in UK corporation tax in the preceding 14 years despite £3bn in sales.