Research group Plimsoll examined the largest 980 bakery firms and found there were 722 new appointments at director level in the last 18 months. This movement in the industry arose as many were appointed to find a buyer for companies or oversee a management buyout. Plimsoll suggest that this widespread change of leadership will impact on trading in the industry and some older companies may be left struggling to keep up. The report stated: "new blood represents a transformation of the industry, with new ideas, renewed focus and different ways of working." Newer directors eager to make their mark on the bakery industry may well pursue aggressive strategies to get the jump on competitors. Senior analyst David Pattison said: "We all know that companies don't do business with companies – people do business with people. But the people are changing, and firms will be caught out and lose business as a result, simply because they took a customer, competitor or supplier for granted on the basis of an older management style." For 180 of the businesses researched, Plimsoll discovered the main challenge was to keep the company afloat while 542 aspired to achieve industry-leading performance. The average director's salary in the bakery industry was £70,566 last year with those in leading positions capable of earning up to £153,000. And, the average time spent in office for bakers is now over four years compared to the UK average of just over seven years.