Following its recent acquisition of Bento Sushi, Richard Hodgson will join the newly formed combined group as CEO.
Hodsgon is set to start in December.
Hodsgon was formerly CEO of Pizza Express, where he was instrumental in driving the internationalisation of the business.
As agreed with the Board when Mayfair Equity Partners invested in YO! in November 2015, and with the business delivering strong results and underlying like-for-like growth, Robin Rowland will step down as CEO but remain on the board as a non-executive director. Robin has led YO! for 18 years.
Hodsgon brings considerable international restaurant and retail experience which will benefit the newly expanded and diversified Group. Prior to his role at Pizza Express, Richard was commercial director of Morrisons and Waitrose. At Pizza Express, he led its international expansion, opened well over 120 new restaurants including in South East Asia and China, acquired its international franchise operations in the UAE and the Far East, and developed its retail business through new deals with supermarkets and online delivery platforms.
Robin Rowland, CEO of YO!, said, “I’m pleased to pass the baton to Richard. Richard inherits a business that continues to go from strength-to-strength and is now poised for rapid expansion across the Group’s range of formats and geographies. I look forward to supporting the Group’s growth in a non-executive capacity.”
Richard Hodgson, incoming Chief Executive Officer of YO!, said, “YO! Sushi has been an iconic consumer brand for the last twenty years, and the introduction of the Bento brand and offering presents a huge opportunity. I’m excited about joining the newly diversified Group at this pivotal point in its development, and working with the team as we capitalise on the new multi-channel multi-brand format.”
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