Cineworld boss and founder to quit next year

Oliver Smith
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CINEWORLD chief executive Steve Wiener, who founded the business 18 years ago, will leave the UK’s largest cinema chain at the end of March 2014, the company announced yesterday.

Wiener, who has worked in the cinema industry for 44 years, left his job as managing director of Warner Bros Europe in 1995 to set up the business, growing it to a chain of 34 before it was bought by private equity group Blackstone in 2004.

“Today, in 2013, Cineworld is the number one cinema chain in the UK and has been for more than three years,” Wiener said in a statement. “This was achieved by a lot of hard work by an executive team that is the best I have ever worked with in my 44 years in the industry. I am sure with them on board Cineworld will continue to go from strength to strength.”

Cineworld now runs around 100 cinemas, including four out of the ten highest grossing cinemas in the UK and Ireland, and said last month it plans to open a further 25 sites up until 2017.

The company last year bought the Picturehouse chain of 21 cinemas, a deal that put Cineworld in hot water with the Office of Fair Trading.

Cineworld was ordered to sell off three of its sites under competition rules in October.

Wiener will leave the business on 31 March, Cineworld said yesterday, adding an announcement on his successor would follow later.

Cineworld’s shares fell 2.2 per cent yesterday on the news, to close at 362.7p a share.