Having developed Pret A Manger into a multi-billion pound outfit with 550 shops across nine markets, CEO Clive Schlee is stepping down from the business at the end of September.
He will be succeeded by Pano Christou, the sandwich chain’s COO. Schlee will maintain a role in the business as non-executive director, ensuring a smooth transition when he hands over the baton.
“There is never an easy time to stop being CEO of a wonderful company, but with the completion of our EAT deal tomorrow, and the roll out of the Pret Allergy Plan, now is a good time for a new CEO to take Pret on the next stage of its journey,” said Schlee.
“I’m really pleased Pano is taking over. He knows our shops through and through and will keep Pret true to the values that have underpinned its success.”
Mr Christou started as an assistant manager in Carnaby Street Pret 19 years ago, working his way up to become managing director of Pret UK in 2014 and COO at the start of this year.
He said: “I am honoured to follow Clive as CEO. Pret has big plans for the next few years – integrating EAT, developing Veggie Pret, delivering our digital transformation, and leading the way in supporting customers with allergies. I want to thank Clive for his leadership over the last sixteen years, and we look forward to building on his legacy.”
Last month Pret announced plans to acquire EAT and said it intends to convert as many of the company’s shops as possible to its Veggie format.