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TGI Fridays UK Boss Karen Forrester to Depart

Karen Forrester, the chief executive of casual dining restaurant chain TGI Fridays UK, is to leave her role in December after 12 years.

Forrester, who was credited with helping to turn around the fortunes of the previously tired brand, will be replaced by former Virgin Active and Malmaison and Hotel du Vin chief executive Robert Cook.

It is understood that TGI Fridays UK chief financial officer Stuart Greener, HR director Jacqui McManus and operations director Cain Savazzi will also be stepping down.

Forrester said: “It has been an unbelievable honour and privilege to have led the magnificent TGI Fridays UK family over the last 12 years.

“It was an incredibly hard decision to hang up my stripes, but I’m excited to be handing over to new CEO Robert Cook who will steer the company on the next stage of its epic journey.

“I’m leaving a business which is strong and healthy. In the last few years we’ve opened a raft of new restaurants, welcomed thousands more Friday family members and served millions of satisfied guests. This year profits and sales have grown and led to some brilliant guest experience scores.”

During Forrester’s time as chief executive, TGI Fridays UK was named as the Sunday Times best big company to work for in 2015. The company, owned by private equity firm Electra since 2014, operates more than 80 branches across the UK and has an annual turnover of around £209m (€242.6m).

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