Britain’s largest pubs group Punch Taverns has said the managing director of its Spirit division has stood down following the completion of plans to convert managed pubs to leasehold to produce a more streamlined business.
Andrew Knight, who has overseen the reduction of the Spirit group from 1,800 pubs to 863, stood down from his position yesterday and will be replaced by Michael Tye.
The Burton-on-Trent group said Mr Tye would also join the board as an executive director.
Mr Tye has nearly 20 years’ experience in the leisure industry, notably with Whitbread, Aramark and Forte, and has a considerable experience in the pub and pub restaurant markets.
In recent years, he has helped lead the growth of Costa Coffee; the acquisition and integration of Premier Lodge to create Premier (Travel) Inn; and further improved the performance of David Lloyd Leisure.
Punch chief executive Giles Thorley said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Andrew on behalf of the board for his commitment to the group in leading Spirit through a significant period of integration over the last couple of years as we continue to build the UK’s premier pub company.
“I would also like to welcome Mike to the group. Mike has a long and diverse career in the leisure retail sector and brings with him exceptional experience which will be invaluable in taking Spirit to the next stage of its development.”