Byron Burger has a new chief executive

Alys Key
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British-backed Byron Burger Chain Open For Business
Byron is getting a permanent CEO after a five month gap (Source: Getty)

Byron Hamburgers today announced a replacement chief executive following the sudden departure of its previous boss.

Current managing director Simon Cope will be appointed to the job, following a five month gap in which the company operated with no permanent chief executive.

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Cope has only worked at the chain since July, but was previously at Wagamama, which is also owned by Byron's private equity backer Hutton Collins.

The appointment is set to relieve executive chairman Dalton Philips of his duties so he can step back into his role of non-executive chairman.

“Simon had an immediate impact on our business when he joined as MD in July," said Philips.

"He understands the dynamics of this hugely competitive and exciting market place. He is passionate about food, gets our customers, is a fantastic team leader and has a serious track record of delivery. There isn’t much he hasn’t seen, and it is clear to me that he is going to be a terrific CEO for Byron.

“We have strengthened Byron’s senior management significantly over the past six months and the new team is already making great strides in reinvigorating Byron’s pioneering spirit and distinctive character. I look forward to further progress under Simon’s leadership.”

Philips took the helm temporarily in May after Byron's previous chief executive, Andy Manders, resigned for personal reasons just a few months into the job.

Simon Cope's CV also features nearly a decade at Mitchells & Butlers, the owner of All Bar One and other dining and drinking brands. Before this he was a brand manager at Britvic.

Cope steps up to his new role in a difficult period for the casual dining sector, with rising costs prompting a string of gloomy results from peers including Franco Manca owner Fulham Shore and Wildwood owner Tasty.

Byron itself is expected to close more branches as it works through a cost-cutting plan.

Read more: All Bar One owner's shares fall despite market-beating sales growth

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