International edition
May 22, 2019

As CEO

GVC COO leaves his post to join The Restaurant Group

GVC COO leaves his post to join The Restaurant Group
"I recognize that this sector of the market faces considerable challenges, but The Restaurant Group has a set of casual dining and pub brands that offer significant potential," Andy Hornby said.
United Kingdom | 05/07/2019

Andy Hornby, who had stepped down from HBOS after an emergency takeover in 2008, currently serves as a co-chief operating officer of Britain’s biggest gambling company, the Ladbrokes owner GVC.

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t was announced last week that GVC's current co-chief operating officer Andy Hornby is moving from the gambling firm to The Restaurant Group, a British chain of restaurants and public houses, where he has been appointed as CEO.

The Restaurant Group will pay Andy Hornby an annual salary of £630,000 (USD 705,197), an annual bonus of up to £945,000 and a share bonus of £1.26m, the Guardian reports.

Hornby, who stepped down from HBOS after an emergency takeover in 2008, is the co-chief operating officer of Britain’s biggest gambling company, the Ladbrokes owner GVC. He is to lead a publicly listed company for the first time since HBOS was rescued by Lloyds TSB a decade ago.

The Restaurant Group runs more than 650 restaurants and pubs across the UK, under the Wagamama, Frankie & Benny’s, Chiquito, Garfunkel’s, Coast to Coast, Brunning & Price and Food & Fuel brands. It also owns concessions in UK airports.

Hornby said: "I recognize that this sector of the market faces considerable challenges, but The Restaurant Group has a set of casual dining and pub brands that offer significant potential."

The 52-year-old is joining the FTSE 250-listed firm on a package worth up to £3.9m in his first year. His annual package is a maximum of £2.96m, depending on targets being hit. This comprises a base salary of £630,000, an annual bonus of up to £945,000, half of which will be deferred into shares for three years, and a share bonus under the long-term incentive plan (LTIP) of £1.26m. He will not get a pension but could receive a supplement of up to 20% of salary instead.

On top of this annual package, Hornby will be awarded a one-off LTIP payment of £945,000 in shares subject to targets being met, to compensate for the loss of bonuses at GVC.

A spokesman for the company said the package had been approved by shareholders and reflected Hornby’s experience and responsibilities. It said Hornby was entitled to bigger bonuses at GVC.

The company said Hornby’s start date would be confirmed in due course, and the leaving date of the chief executive, Andy McCue, would be announced at the same time. McCue was paid £729,500 last year and £1.1m in 2017.

Hornby’s appointment comes at a difficult time for the company. McCue resigned in February “due to extenuating personal circumstances”, just after the completion of its controversial £559m takeover of the Wagamama chain. The company had to tap shareholders for £315m to help fund the deal and 40% of investors voted against the acquisition, which they considered too expensive.

Debbie Hewitt, who chairs The Restaurant Group, said: "Andy brings very relevant consumer, people and brand-led CEO credentials, with experience leading a multisite retail business which is undergoing digital transformation.

"Andy’s extensive retail background, proven hands-on operational expertise and experience of integrating businesses position him well to provide the leadership required to deliver the next phase of our strategy."

Hornby, educated at Oxford and Harvard, started out at Asda under Archie Norman and he rose to retail managing director and managing director of George clothing. He joined Halifax in 1999 and was promoted to chief executive of the entire bank, HBOS, in 2006 at the age of 39.

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