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Restaurant Group takes a punt on former HBOS and Coral boss as its new CEO

Andy Hornby is taking over from Andy McCue, who said earlier this year that he would be stepping down for personal reasons
An announcement on Hornby’s start date will made “in due course”

Wagamama owner Restaurant Group PLC (LON:RTG) has taken a gamble on former HBOS and Coral boss Andy Hornby as its new chief executive.

Hornby will replace current boss Andy McCue, who announced back in February he would be stepping down due to “extenuating personal circumstances”.

No date has been set on the 52-year-old’s arrival just yet, with an announcement to be made in “due course”.

As soon as Hornby joins, his predecessor will step down.

READ: Wagamama off to a flyer as Restaurant Group LFL sales rise in opening months of 2019

“[Hornby] brings very relevant consumer, people and brand-led CEO credentials, with experience leading a multi-site retail business which is undergoing digital transformation,” said chairman Debbie Hewitt.

“[His] 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: “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.”

Hornby has an impressive CV.

In addition to his stints as chief executive of bookmaker Coral and banking giant HBOS, he has also headed up Alliance Boots, Halifax’s retail business, and Asda’s George clothing brand.

Since Ladbrokes Coral’s acquisition by GVC Holdings PLC (LON:GVC) last year, he has been co-chief operating officer of the £4bn gambling group.

Restaurant Group shares edged 0.4% to 145.5p.

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