WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) _ Margaret Urquhart will step down as president of Krispy Kreme Stores North America just over a year after joining the company.

She will remain as a consultant to the company, Scott Livengood, the company's chairman, president and CEO, said Tuesday. He will assume Urquhart's responsibilities in the interim.

Urquhart was president of Lowes Foods when she was named executive vice president and chief operating officer of Krispy Kreme in December 1999. Both companies are based in Winston-Salem.

``We are grateful to Margaret for her contributions since joining Krispy Kreme. While I regret losing Margaret's presence day to day, I am pleased we will continue to have her on an as needed basis,'' Livengood said.

Urquhart said she looked forward to assisting with Krispy Kreme's future success.

Krispy Kreme operates 172 doughnut stores in 28 states.

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