A CHAMPION of Yorkshire businesses has stepped down.

John Thompson, regional director of the Institute of Directors in Yorkshire, is retiring after seven years in the post.

During his tenure, he introduced the Director of the Year Award and was responsible for launching the Chartered Directors’ Forum, an initiative which has now been adopted by the IoD nationally.

Mr Thompson is succeeded as regional director by Kenton Robbins, of The Alternative Board, a Harrogate-based organisation bringing together owners of privately-held businesses which meet to share advice and undertake business coaching.