Pizza Express appoints former Wagamama chief exec as its new CEO

By Restaurant

- Last updated on GMT

Pizza Express appoints former Wagamama chief executive David Campbell as its new CEO.

Related tags PizzaExpress Restaurant Casual dining David Campbell

PizzaExpress has appointed former Wagamama chief executive David Campbell as its new CEO.

Following a two-year stint as executive chairman at Bill’s, Campbell will join the board alongside former Asda CEO and current Co-op chairman Allan Leighton, who has been appointed as chairman for the business.

Leighton’s appointment follows his departure today (6 November) from the board of The Restaurant Group, where he has held the role of senior independent non-executive director since 2018.

“PizzaExpress is an iconic brand, which has enjoyed much success over its 55-year history. The chance to steer the company to even greater heights in the years ahead is an honour,” says Campbell.

“I am very much looking forward to working with the team, and with the backing of a strong balance sheet, on some exciting times ahead.”

The appointments come on the back of the recent announcement by the company that it was cutting a further 1,300 of its workforce from across its UK estate following a decline in footfall since September and poor city centre trade.

The company also recently announced the closure of 73 restaurants as part of a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) and unveiled a new capital structure that will result in its total debt reduced by from £735m to £319m.

The pizza chain will benefit from a £40m injection of n capital, with the business also acquiring a further £90m of funds from its new owners.

The new senior team say they intend to consolidate PizzaExpress, position as the leading high street pizza chain.

“This is a unique opportunity in casual dining,” says Leighton.

“With a significant recapitalisation of the company, and substantial further funds committed, we look to building on our position as a leader in the casual dining market, once Covid restrictions are eased.

“There is great future for Pizza Express delivering great pizza and a brilliant customer experience.”

Zoe Bowley, MD of PizzaExpress UK & Ireland, will also join the main board as part of the new appointments.

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