Pizza Express, the casual dining chain owned by Gondola, has begun the search for a chief operating officer.
The newly-created role will report into Mark Angela, Pizza Express's managing director, and involve overseeing day-to-day operations of the 377-strong brand.
Angela said the new appointment reflected the growing size of the business, which is currently opening between 15 and 25 restaurants per year.
He said: "My role is increasingly focused on growing the business and as such I have less time to devote to being in the business day-to-day.
"We have a search out, but we will take our time. It's really important that we find the right person."
Nick Young departure
As part of the change to the senior structure at Pizza Express, Nick Young, operations director, has left the business by mutual agreement.
The business is one of the largest casual dining chains by number of sites in the UK - only JD Wetherspoon and Pizza Hut operate from more locations.
Martyn Leek is news editor of BigHospitality sister title M&C Report.