Pizza Express names new chairman and group chief exec

Pizza Express has announced that Allan Leighton and David Campbell have been appointed as chairman and group chief executive.

Along with the appointments, Pizza Express revealed the completion of its recapitalisation, giving the company a “strong balance sheet and significant funds to invest in growth in the years ahead”.

The company’s new capital structure sees total debt reduced by over £400m, from £735m to £319m, and includes the immediate injection of £40m of new capital. In addition, the business has a further £90m of funds available from the new owners.

Leighton, the new chairman, said: “This is a unique opportunity in casual dining. 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 a great future for Pizza Express delivering great pizza and a brilliant customer experience.”

David Campbell, the new group chief executive, said: “Pizza Express 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.

“First, I want to acknowledge the outstanding work of Zoe Bowley, the leadership team, all Pizza Express colleagues, and the support of business partners, during these extremely challenging times. 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 firm also announced that Zoe Bowley, MD of Pizza Express UK and Ireland, will be joining the main board, alongside group CFO, Andy Pellington.

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