Hicks will take on the role at the end of August, succeeding Dominic Lowe who has led the company for four years.
He joins Kettle Foods from Tesco where he was most recently commercial director of Tesco Hungary, the country’s third largest employer.
Prior to Tesco, he was category director for bodyspray company UK Impulse.
‘Right time to hand over reins’
The Kettle Chips maker, which has manufacturing facilities in Norwich, was acquired by California-based Diamond Foods in 2010.
Lowe joined the company soon after the acquisition and oversaw a £7M expansion of the Norwich plant in order to meet growing demand.
“After four enjoyable and satisfying years helping to develop the Kettle Foods business, I feel that now is the right time to hand over the reins to someone with a fresh perspective,” Lowe said.
“Ashley brings exceptional experience to continue to grow the Kettle brand in both the UK and Europe.”
Kettle Foods was established in Oregon in 1978 and came to the UK a decade later.
The company said: “The Kettlebrand is now worth over £100M at RSV [retail sales value] growing at 5.9% year-on-year, ahead of the total crisps and snacks market.”