Pizza Express chief executive Mark Angela steps down

By Becky Paskin

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: The times

Mark Angela has left his position as chief executive of Pizza Express
Mark Angela has left his position as chief executive of Pizza Express
Pizza Express chief executive Mark Angela is to step down from his position at the 400-strong restaurant chain, owned by Gondola Holdings.

According to reports Angela decided to leave the restaurant chain over objections to the direction of the group.

However a spokesperson for Gondola, which also operates Ask, Zizzi and Byron, told BigHospitality the departure was ‘an amicable arrangement agreed by both sides’.

Angela, who joined the then 330-strong chain in 2007 following three years as managing director of Greene King’s managed pubs division, will be replaced by Gondola chief executive Harvey Smyth in the interim.

Smyth told The Times newspaper: “Mark’s done a fantastic job. We’re entering a new phase of growth and we decided, between Mark and I, that it was time for a change.”

Over his four years at Pizza Express, Angela has overseen the launch of a new generation restaurant format​; a discounting campaign that spearheaded a trend for restaurant vouchers; and introduced an industry-leading iPhone application​ allowing diners to pay using their smartphones.

It is now thought the group will go on to refocus its expansion plans on the overseas market, after acquiring the international franchise arm​ of Pizza Express, including over 50 restaurants in 12 countries, at the end of last year.

It is still unconfirmed whether a long-term replacement for Angela will be sought, nor what the future holds for the former chief executive.

Smyth confirmed to The Times that the group had started talks with banks to refinance its £550m debt, but denied the move could see one or more of its brands sold.

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