WELLINGTON'S biggest employer, Relyon, is in the midst of a major management shake-up to get the company back on track.

Mike Rayner dramatically quit as managing director of the internationally renowned bed manufacturer on Monday.

His departure was swiftly followed by marketing director Keith Burton on Tuesday and more management heads are set to roll as company bosses bid to improve performance.

Up to eight management positions are believed to be under threat but the rest of Relyon's 600-strong workforce is safe.

Company chief executive Ian Topping told the Somerset County Gazette: "Mike Rayner has resigned to pursue his career elsewhere.

"I have assumed the role of Relyon's managing director in combination with my group role as MD of parent company Steinhoff UK for the foreseeable future."

Mr Rayner joined the company from Yale Security Products in May last year. His appointment was said to be designed to allow Mr Topping more time to spend on Steinhoff UK's "organic and acquisitive development".

But Mr Topping said: "Regrettably, it has just not worked out - these things happen in business."

The move puts Mr Topping firmly back in the driving seat at Relyon and has been welcomed as a move 'back to basics' by company insiders.

The new MD said further changes in the management team were under discussion and "a handful" of people would be leaving as he concentrated on "re-focussing" the business.

He said Relyon's change in direction followed a "difficult" period, over the summer where the consumer goods sector has seen a downturn and trading figures have been disappointing.

Meanwhile, the company's reputation for prompt delivery of orders and excellent customer service was not helped by new technology.

"We have had teething problems with a new computer system which went live in June," said Mr Topping.