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The Restaurant Group Appoints New Chief Executive

The Restaurant Group, which operates over 500 UK restaurants pubs under brands including Frankie and Benny’s, Chiquito and Coast to Coast, has appointed Andy Hornby as its new chief executive.

Hornby takes over from Andy McCue, who resigned in February "due to extenuating personal circumstances", following the Restaurant Group’s £559m takeover of the Wagamama chain.

Hornby has a background working in senior positions in companies in the banking and gambling sectors. He is currently co-chief operating officer of GVC Holdings, the sports betting and gaming group. Over the last eight years he has been successively chief executive of Coral, chief operating officer of Gala Coral, chief operating officer of Ladbrokes Coral.

Prior to joining Gala Coral, he was group chief executive of Alliance Boots from 2009 to 2011, having previously held positions at HBOS bank, including as chief executive of HBOS from 2006 to the end of 2008.

Hornby's start date will be announced “in due course” and at the same time the company will confirm the date on which Andy McCue will step down as CEO.

Hornby will receive a base salary of £633,000 (€737,400) a year but no pension. His maximum annual bonus will be 150% of his salary, deferred into shares for three years. He will also be in line for a share bonus under the firm’s long-term incentive plan (LTIP) of £1.26m (€1.47m), as well as a one-off bonus of 150% of his salary on joining to compensate for LTIP bonuses that he will be relinquishing with GVC.

Chairman Debbie Hewitt said: "I am delighted to welcome Andy to the company. He brings very relevant consumer, people and brand-led CEO credentials, with experience leading a multi-site retail business which is undergoing digital transformation. Andy's extensive retail background, proven hands-on operational expertise, and experience of integrating businesses position him well to provide the leadership required to deliver the next phase of our strategy."

Hornby added: "I am delighted to be joining the Restaurant Group as CEO at such an exciting time. This is a great business, with strong brands, committed colleagues and tremendous potential to grow. I recognise that this sector of the market faces considerable challenges, but the Restaurant Group has a set of casual dining and pub brands that offer significant potential. I'm excited to have the opportunity to lead the team and look forward to getting out and meeting colleagues when I join."

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