His start date is yet to be announced, as is the date current CEO Andy McCue will step down. McCue announced his resignation in February, citing “extenuating personal circumstances”.
Hornby is an experienced company chief executive, and he is currently co-chief operating officer of GVC, the sports betting and gaming group. Hornby joined Gala Coral in 2011 and over the last eight years he has been successively chief executive of Coral, chief operating officer of Gala Coral, chief operating officer of Ladbrokes Coral (following the merger with Ladbrokes in 2016) and co-chief operating officer of GVC (following the purchase by GVC in 2018).
Throughout this period Coral and then Ladbrokes Coral and finally GVC have delivered significant shareholder value.
Prior to this, Hornby was group chief executive of Alliance Boots from 2009 to 2011, having previously held positions as chief executive of Halifax Retail, CEO of the retail division of HBOS plc, chief operating officer of HBOS plc and then chief executive of HBOS plc from 2006 to the end of 2008. Earlier in his career he held a range of roles at Asda, the supermarket retailer, including retail managing director and managing director of George clothing.
Debbie Hewitt MBE, chairman, said: “I am delighted to welcome Andy to the company. He brings very relevant consumer, people and brand-led CEO credentials, with experience leading a multi-site retail business which is undergoing digital transformation. Andy’s extensive retail background, proven hands-on operational expertise, and experience of integrating businesses position him well to provide the leadership required to deliver the next phase of our strategy.”
Hornby added: “I am delighted to be joining The Restaurant Group as CEO at such an exciting time. This is a great business, with strong brands, committed colleagues and tremendous potential to grow. I recognise that this sector of the market faces considerable challenges, but The Restaurant Group has a set of casual dining and pub brands that offer significant potential. I’m excited to have the opportunity to lead the team and look forward to getting out and meeting colleagues when I join.”