The Restaurant Group has announced that its chairman Debbie Hewitt will be stepping down from the board at the end of the year to run the English Football Association.
Ms Hewitt will end her tenure with the company on 31 December in order to chair the organisation from January 2022, subject to ratification by the FA Council.
Andy Hornby, CEO of The Restaurant Group, said: “On behalf of the board and everyone at TRG, I would like to thank Debbie for the significant contribution that she has made to the business. She is a proactive chairman who has built and led a high-quality board and proactively engaged with all stakeholders throughout her tenure.
“The FA have chosen Debbie for her extensive chair expertise across a wide range of business sectors, and there is no doubt that TRG has benefitted from that experience. We wish her every success in this new role.”
TRG, which owns Wagamama and Frankie & Benny’s, has commenced a formal process to recruit her successor led by senior independent director Graham Clemett and said an announcement would be made in “due course”.
Ms Hewitt MBE said: “TRG is a fantastic business, full of outstanding people, who care passionately about our customers and the food and service they deliver. The group has undergone a substantial transformation since I joined in 2015, and it now has a stronger customer ethos, a stronger group of brands and a first-class team.
“Under Andy Hornby’s outstanding leadership, the company has emerged stronger from the pandemic and is poised for growth through all of its channels. I remain fully committed to working with Andy and Graham for the rest of the year to ensure the recruitment of a strong successor and a smooth transition.”