YO! company veteran Robin Rowland has stepped down from his role as non-executive director of the board, ending a 20-year association with the brand.
In his two decades at the sushi chain, he led the company for 18 years as chief executive and chairman – a period which saw him awarded an OBE for services to the restaurant and hospitality industry.
At the time he joined the company, YO! operated just three restaurants in London, with the firm growing hugely under his leadership to become the global brand it is now.
Rowland stepped down as chief executive in 2017 and has been serving mainly in an advisory role in the time since.
YO! chief executive Richard Hodgson said of Rowland’s departure: “Robin took sushi to the masses, growing YO!, from a fledgling business to one of the UK’s most loved and iconic restaurant chains.
“Though he will be sorely missed by everyone at YO!, we wish him the best with his future projects, all of which will benefit from his considerable experience and insight.”
Rowland said: “The acquisition of SnowFox last month marks a further milestone in YO!’s pivot to a diversified global multi-brand and multi-format Japanese food group.
As such, now’s the right time for me to step down from the board to make room for others who can guide YO! through to the next stage of development.
“I’m incredibly proud of everything we’ve done over the years at YO!, and the extraordinary people I’ve been lucky enough to work alongside, who make this business so very special.”