M&B chief to step down

Mitchells & Butlers’ chief executive Adam Fowle is to leave the pub and food company after less than two years in the role.

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He will be replaced by non-executive director and former Scottish and Newcastle boss Jeremy Blood on an interim basis until a permanent replacement can be found.

Fowle, who joined the company in 1984 and became chief executive in August 2009, will remain at M&B for an unspecified period “to ensure an orderly and effective transition”, the company says.

News of his departure follows the January resignation of chairman John Lovering, who was replaced by non-executive director Simon Burke.

Fowle and Lovering’s departures were preceded by a year- long boardroom tussle that saw Lovering replace Simon Laffin. The shake-up was instigated by M&B’s largest shareholder Joe Lewis.

The company -which owns pub chains All Bar One and O’Neill’s and restaurant brands Toby Carvery and Harvester – is pursuing a long-term strategy to move away from the “price-sensitive drinks-led business” to concentrate on its food offering.

It hopes to increase the number of Harvester sites to 400 and the number of Toby Carvery sites to 300 outlets nationwide. It has opened high street variants of Harvester and outlets in leisure parks and retail parks.

Earlier this week, the company launched a campaign to push the Harvester brand ahead of the expansion. The television ad, created by St.Luke’s, focuses on the chain’s most popular dishes.

It is the second ad campaign to use the “Bring out the best campaign” first introduced last year.

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