Roger Green, founder of Edinburgh-based Spotless Commercial Cleaning, has stepped down as chief executive after 24 years.

Mr Green, 44, started the company from his student flat in the capital. It now has a turn-over of more than £10 million and employs 1100 staff, 800 of them in Scotland.

The founder will retain his 80% stake in the company and hand over the reins to director Niall Moffat, who was recruited in 2006 and has a 10% stake.

The remaining 10% is co-owned by some 20 managers in the company.

Spotless began with three staff in a flat in Annandale Street, later moving to Causewayside and finally Peffermill Estate as the company expanded. It has operations in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London and Newcastle, and has achieved an average annual growth rate of 20%.

Mr Green said the group had "big growth plans for the north of England", and that he was considering new projects.

The company said Mr Green was "respected for raising the status of cleaning as a service and a career, due to his ethos of investing in good pay, training and progression opportunities for staff".

Two of the senior directors had begun on the cleaning staff and "now control multi-million pound budgets".