Hotel group De Vere, which lists the Belfry among its holdings, has appointed a new chairman after Lord Daresbury announced his decision to stand down.

David Richardson, the former finance director at Whitbread, will take up his post as non-executive chairman in April.

Peter Daresbury, who became the managing director of the Greenalls Group in 1989, led its transformation from a family-run regional brewer into one of the UK's leading pub, restaurant and hotel businesses.

In 1999 the pubs and restaurants arm was sold to concentrate on hotels and leisure clubs, the Group's name was changed to De Vere and Mr Daresbury became chairman.

Mr Richardson, aged 54, joined De Vere as a non-executive director in October 2005.

Previously he spent 22 years at Whitbread, the last four of which he was finance director. He is also a non-executive director at Dairy Crest, Forth Ports and Serco Group.

Lord Daresbury, aged 52, is leaving the company to concentrate on his other interests, which include his chair-manship of gold mining firm Kazakhgold.

He said: "I have been chairman now for six years and I feel the time has come to hand over to someone with a fresh perspective.

"I am proud to leave an excellent management team and a flourishing business, and to hand over my role to someone who is both highly respected in the industry and is familiar with the De Vere Group," he added.

Mr Richardson said: "I am very excited to be taking on the role of non-executive chairman at De Vere Group.

"I very much look forward to working with the board and management team delivering our strategy and continuing to grow shareholder value," he added.