Chairman leaves Mitchells & Butlers

Kasmira Jefford
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MITCHELLS & BUTLERS has lost its third chairman in 18 months after the company announced yesterday that Simon Burke will stand down just five months into the role.

Burke’s resignation is yet another round of musical chairs at the pub group following months of warfare between the company and some of its biggest shareholders, which include Joe Lewis, the Bahamas-based billionaire.

The row came to a head at the group’s annual meeting in 2010 when former chairman Simon Laffin was ousted from the board.

Burke will be replaced by Bob Ivell, former Regent Inn’s boss, who has been appointed on an interim basis. Ron Robson – a representative of Lewis’s Piedmont investment vehicle – will take over as deputy chairman.

A spokesperson for the pub group said Burke left for “personal reasons” and declined to comment further.

Shares in the group closed 3.47 per cent down at 295p at the end of trading yesterday.


July 2011 - Simon Burke steps down after only three months in the role. Non-executive director Michael Balfour also follows suit.

March 2011 - Andrew Fowle steps down as chief executive “by mutual consent” - two months after Lovering 'by mutual consent'

January 2011 - John Lovering, who joined the pub group a year earlier, resigns as chairman.

January 2010 – Mitchells and Butlers AGM comes after months of warfare between M&B and its shareholders. Simon Laffin is unseated from the board.

November 2009 – M&B board led by Laffin purge Piedmont’s representative Richard Mcguire and three other directors from the board.

October 2008 - Joe Lewis, the Bahamas billionaire buys 29.7 per cent stake from Robert Tchenguiz. through his Piedmont vehicle.