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Wed 26th Apr 2017 - David Campbell steps down as Wagamama chief executive
David Campbell steps down as Wagamama chief executive: David Campbell has stepped down as chief executive as Wagamama with chief operating officer Jane Holbrook replacing him with immediate effect. Campbell, who joined Wagamama in 2014, will continue to work with the company as a special adviser. Holbrook joined Wagamama in 2014 as chief financial officer before becoming chief operating officer last April. Chairman Allan Leighton said: “David and I have been discussing the desirability and importance for there to be in place a chief executive, who will not only take us through an anticipated exit, but will also remain at the helm for a considerable period of time beyond. In reality this would appear to be a five-year plus commitment. If David was to continue as chief executive, the duration of his tenure would extend be far beyond the period he anticipated upon being appointed to the position. In view of this, and after giving the matter careful consideration, David has with typical integrity, decided to step down from the chief executive role. I am delighted however that he will remain a special adviser and a shareholder in the company going forward. David has done an outstanding job as chief executive. Under his leadership Wagamama has outperformed the Coffer Peach Tracker for an unprecedented 152 consecutive weeks, has almost doubled Ebitda over four years, has built a foothold in the US, has rebuilt the London estate and has expanded in Europe. No other individual in the company’s history has had such an impact. We owe him a lot. Jane Holbrook, our chief operating officer, will step up to the chief executive role. Jane knows the business and our people intimately and has our full support and backing to build on David’s legacy. David and Jane have together built the strongest management team in the restaurant industry, coupled with general managers and head chefs who are the envy of all. With this team we will continue with our mission to make Wagamama a truly iconic global brand. I am sure you will all join me in thanking David and recognising his extraordinary contribution to Wagamama and join me and David in both supporting and giving our best to Jane in her new role.” Holbrook said: “I am delighted to take on the role as chief executive of this fast growing international business. In Wagamama we have a category leading business in the UK which is now really building an international presence both in Europe and into the US. We have an exciting journey and future ahead of us. I would personally like to thank David for his many years at the helm. His leadership has been inspiring and has helped in establishing Wagamama’s current strong position – probably the strongest and healthiest it has ever been in our long 25-year history. Together over the past 12 months David and I have, along with other members of the executive team, devised and set out the business’s current growth strategy. It is such an exciting and unique opportunity ahead as we continue growing the business, both domestically and internationally. Over the course of my career I have learned that high performance comes from happy teams and strong leadership. My focus will be on providing both, as well as ensuring that our customers have a great experience whenever they spend time with us.” Wagamama, which as 124 restaurants in the UK, celebrated its 25th anniversary on Saturday (22 April). Turnover increased 15.7% to £64.2m in Wagamama’s third quarter to 29 January 2017 with 9% UK like-for-like sales growth. Average UK unit sales hit £41,800 per week compared with £38,000-a-week for the comparable quarter a year ago and £34,100 two years ago, a sales increase of 22.6% in two years.

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