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Tue 21st Jan 2020 - Crowley to step down as BRG chief executive
Crowley to step down as BRG chief executive: Boparan Restaurant Group (BRG) has announced Tom Crowley is to step down as chief executive after little more than three years in the role to move on to a “new challenge”. The company, which operates the Giraffe, Ed’s Easy Diner, Fishworks and Slim Chickens brands, has appointed Satnam Leihal as Crowley’s successor. Leihal, who has played a key role in the management team within the larger Boparan organisation, joined Boparan from Morrisons, where he held roles including regional operations manager. Before that he gained “management and operations experience” during a 25-year career in the food and retail industry. Crowley, who took over as BRG chief executive from Joe Teixeria at the end of 2016, was previously operations director at Giraffe, which he joined at the start of 2014 from Mitchells & Butlers where he was retail director for Premium Country Dining Group. He was appointed managing director of the then Tesco-owned Giraffe in 2015, which Boparan acquired in June 2016. On his appointment as BRG chief executive, Cowley oversaw seven brands operating across 100 sites. However, last year BRG confirmed 27 of its 70 Ed’s Easy Diner and Giraffe sites were to close as part of a company voluntary arrangement. In August 2019, Deep Blue Restaurants acquired fellow fish and chip brand Harry Ramsden from BRG debt-free, which consisted of 34 sites in the UK, Ireland and Malaysia. BRG still retains an interest in the enlarged business. Meanwhile, BRG operates 25 Giraffe restaurants (four overseas); 13 Ed’s Easy Diners; two Wondertree restaurants; six Slim Chickens; and three Fishworks. BRG chairman Laurie Mcilwee said: “The company is in good shape and set for 2020 so now is the right time for Tom to move on to his next challenge. Tom is leaving in place a fantastic team, which will continue to drive the business forward, and we wish him the very best in his next role.” It’s thought Crowley is set to remain in the hospitality sector. 

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