He will replace departing TRG CEO Andy McCue, who announced his decision to step down in February citing personal reasons.
Hornby, who is currently co-chief operating officer at sports betting group GVC Holdings, will join on a base salary of £630,000 with a maximum annual bonus of up to £945,000.
His appointment comes at an interesting juncture for TRG, which operates over 650 restaurants in the UK under brands including Frankie & Benny’s, Chiquito’s and Garfunkel’s.
But it saw overall like-for-like sales drop 2% in 2018 and has put a total of 44 sites on the market through Savills, around half of which have already closed. Though TRG has not confirmed which restaurants are for sale, it identified 76 “structurally unattractive” Frankie & Benny’s locations in its most recent financial results.
Hornby says he recognises that the casual dining market faces "considerable challenges" but believes TRG's brands offer "significant potential".
The date of McCue’s departure and Hornby’s start date will be confirmed in due course.