Simon Wilkinson steps down as Byron CEO

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Simon Wilkinson steps down as Byron CEO

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Simon Wilkinson has stepped down as CEO of Byron with Gavin Cox named as his replacement.

Cox, who joined the business recently, has previously worked at food companies including Adelie Foods, McCambridge Group and Street Eats.

Byron brand owner Famously Proper says his expertise, which is specifically focused on growth, will aid the development of the Byron burger brand as well as Mother Clucker, the fried chicken brand it acquired earlier this year​.

Wilkinson joined Byron three years ago and has helped stabilise the business when it was acquired by Famously Proper in 2020 in a pre-pack administration.

He has led the re-opening of the restaurants post lockdown, accelerated the development of its digital presence, and managed the transition of the main supply chain provider.

Speaking to BigHospitality last month​ Wilkinson said that delivery would be a key consideration for the brand in the future. In September last year, the company opened its first dark kitchen and now has six in total, primarily in the capital, with plans to double this number.

He also said that alongside Mother Clucker, Famously Proper was looking for a third business to buy. “What that third asset looks like is yet to be defined. So far, we’ve looked at some Asian-focused brands, as well as some vegan outfits. Fundamentally, it’s about finding the right opportunity, with the right management team, where we see growth. The vision for Famously Proper is to have businesses with the scope to double in size when we look to sell them,” he said.

Speaking about his departure, Wilkinson said it was time for a change. “I have reached a stage in my life when I am looking for a change of direction. I believe my job is done and I am confident I am leaving Famously Proper in a very strong position to capitalise on future growth opportunities,” he said.

“We thank Simon very much for his hard work and commitment to the business and wish him the very best for the future,” says Sandeep Vyas of investor Calveton, and chairman of Famously Proper.

“As the company shifts into the next phase of its development and expansion, we are delighted to have Gavin Cox at the helm, and we will continue to execute on our strategy of building a category leading platform delivering great experience to our consumers through destination restaurants and frictionless on demand digital access to great tasting food.”

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