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Fri 27th May 2022 - PizzaExpress appoints Paula MacKenzie as new chief executive
PizzaExpress appoints Paula MacKenzie as new chief executive: PizzaExpress has appointed Paula MacKenzie as its new chief executive. MacKenzie will join the company on Monday, 6 June and replaces David Campbell, who stepped down in October last year. PizzaExpress stated: “Paula has more than 20 years’ experience in transforming food and drink businesses by unlocking the power of brands. She has worked for some of the world’s most recognised and valued companies including KFC, Diageo, GSK and Innocent. Most recently, Paula has led the KFC business (part of Yum! Brands) in the UK and Ireland as managing director, overseeing many transformational aspects of the business including the growth of delivery and e-commerce. She worked for Yum! Brands for 11 years in a range of senior executive roles including chief finance officer, chief development officer and chief marketing officer. Paula is also a non-executive director at B&M retail and a member of the advisory board for Pennies, the UK's leading fintech charity. Paula is well-known for building talented, high-performing teams and empowering them to deliver bold, courageous work. As chief executive, she will lead a team of 10,000 people and work with a talented management team to fuel the next stage of growth for PizzaExpress – from digital transformation including the growth of the loyalty app to restaurant refurbishment.” Allan Leighton, chairman of PizzaExpress, said: “We are delighted Paula will join the PizzaExpress team as chief executive, she has a terrific track record of performance and importantly is a champion of Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion. I would like to thank Zoe Bowley and Jo Bennett for jointly leading the business during this interim period. Paula is joining at an exciting time for PizzaExpress and will work with our leadership team to drive priorities for growth, including an increased customer focus led by rapid digital transformation.” MacKenzie added: “PizzaExpress is a much loved, iconic brand, that holds a special place in the nation’s heart. As someone who thrives on bringing brands to life, I’m thrilled to be working with Allan and the whole team at PizzaExpress leading this brand and business through its next chapter of growth. I cannot wait to get started and look forward to personally welcoming customers into our restaurants at a time where we are all reconnecting with the magic of eating out.” MacKenzie left KFC earlier this year after five years as its managing director for the UK & Ireland. Subsequently, Neil Piper, previously its chief people officer, was appointed as interim managing director.


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