Hornby wields knife at Wagamama owner: Fresh crisis for ex-HBOS chief as Restaurant Group investors go hungry
The Restaurant Group’s boss has shaken up his senior team amid a battle to calm investors’ worries over its performance.
Andy Hornby is best known for taking Halifax owner HBOS to the brink of collapse in 2008, but despite this calamity he has held a number of high profile corporate positions.
He has been running TRG since 2019, just before the hospitality industry was blighted by Covid, and has been under pressure to turn the company’s fortunes around.
Last month he announced plans to shutter 23 restaurants including Frankie and Benny’s and Chiquito sites, which have not been as successful as the pan-Asian Wagamama brand.
High profile: Andy Hornby (pictured) is best known for taking Halifax owner HBOS to the brink of collapse in 2008, but despite this calamity he has held a number of high profile positions
And yesterday he went further, reshuffling TRG’s board and announcing the departure of its chief financial officer.
Finance boss Kirk Davis will be standing down from his role after the firm’s interim results in September, and ‘remain available’ to the company until October 31.
Hornby said: ‘[Davis] was instrumental both in the acquisition and successful integration of Wagamama and in supporting the business as it successfully navigated the Covid pandemic.’
Mark Chambers, who heads TRG’s leisure and concessions arm, will take over Davis’s role in September.
Chambers will help navigate the company through its ‘next stage of evolution’, investors were informed yesterday.
The company posted an £86.8million loss last year, its fourth annual loss in a row, and its shares have fallen 80 per cent since it bought Wagamama five years ago.
Analysts at Investec yesterday said the changes suggest the company is committed to a survival plan presented to investors in March.
Other updates yesterday included Jonathan Knight replacing Davis as the head of leisure and concessions while the leisure arm’s people director Jacqui McManus is taking on a dual role as group HR director.